Rim Fire continues to slowly wind down

Written by Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat October 02, 2013 12:30 pm

Command of the fight against the Rim Fire within the Stanislaus National Forest — the majority of the burned fire area — returned Tuesday to local control for the first time since it started, indicating the fire is further winding down.

The fire’s size remained at 257,135 acres with 92 percent containment this morning. The fire grew only one acre over the weekend.

Most federal resources at this point are focusing on stabilizing hillsides and roads, and rehabilitating forest areas.

Command shifted over the weekend from a preassembled California Type 2 team to two Type 3 teams, assembled to command the firefights in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park separately. 

As of yesterday, the remaining fight within the Stanislaus National Forest is led by the forest’s own fire chief Chris Schow, in coordination with other fire officials.

The remaining 8 percent of the fire’s uncontained edge is now in the Yosemite wilderness between Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Cherry Lake. That edge will be allowed to burn itself out against granite barriers. It remains commanded by Type 3 team commander Kelly Singer.

Total personnel on the fire stands at 196. Full containment is estimated for Sunday.

Hetch Hetchy and surrounding areas in Yosemite remain closed to the public due to hazardous conditions. 

All roads within Yosemite besides Hetch Hetchy Road were opened prior to the government shutdown Tuesday, but now only through traffic is allowed in the park. 

Secondary roads within the fire area remain closed to non-residents. A map of forest closure boundaries can be viewed online at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3660.