Fire authorities showed increased confidence in the Rim Fire fight over the weekend, ending crew night shifts and reducing their estimate of the number of structures threatened to zero.
The Rim Fire scorched much of the Tuolumne River watershed. Maggie Beck / Union Democrat, Copyright 2013.
Containment rose to 84 percent Sunday evening, after ticking up to 81 percent on Saturday. Containment had been at 80 percent since Sept. 4.
“Most of that new containment was in the southeast, where crews reinforced containment lines so that spot fires won’t jump there,” said Paul Gibbs, spokesman for the Rim Fire Incident Command Center.
The fire has now burned 256,169 acres, up only 311 acres since Friday evening, according to the Stanislaus National Forest.
“The only spread now is in the northeast, between Cherry Lake and Hetch Hetchy,” Gibbs said.
No structures were considered threatened this morning, down from 1,285 over the weekend.
Crews patrolled the fire perimeter overnight Sunday, the last planned night shift for the Rim Fire.
Patrolling for spot fires, monitoring for activity and mopping up were the primary tasks of crews over the weekend.
Nearly 400 more personnel were released over the weekend. This morning, 1,791 people remained on the fire.
Tioga Road, or the portion of Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park, opened fully Saturday. Stopping along the roadway is prohibited and the burned area within the park remains closed, as does the Stanislaus National Forest land in and around the fire area.
The Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District on Friday continued its air quality alert until noon today, when authorities will either end or continue it again.
An air quality update over the weekend put communities surrounding the fire all in the “moderate” air quality range, meaning poor air quality should only affect unusually sensitive individuals, such as those with respiratory conditions.
None remained in the poorer “unhealthy for sensitive groups” category and only the incident command post at Drew Meadows remained “unhealthy.” This update came from the Rim Fire information team.
This morning, Tuolumne County’s average air quality was rated “good” and was forecast to stay that way by the Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index.
The forecast this morning also showed about half as much of California with predicted air quality concerns as last week — most now in southern California.
The Morgan Fire in and around Mt. Diablo State Park was announced to be fully contained Saturday after charring 3,111 acres. It was deemed Thursday to have been caused by target shooting.
Full containment for the Rim Fire is expected by Friday.
The Rim Fire was caused by a hunter who allowed an illegal campfire to escape.