News broke Sunday, September 7th about a fire sweeping through Yosemite National Park (now being called the Yosemite Meadow Fire). Though there are many wildfires every year, this one got quite a bit of coverage by the media because nearly 100 people needed to be airlifted off of Half Dome and the surrounding Little Yosemite Valley area during the evacuation. Shortly after the news broke, we started receiving calls about our Yosemite Tours, and the safety of being in the Valley at this time. So, here’s what you need to know: Incredible Adventures is fortunate to be getting updates directly from the rangers and staff in Yosemite; we get emails from the NPS (National Park Service) as new information becomes available. According to our most recent update (this morning), “All roads, entrance stations, and park facilities in Yosemite National Park remain open and operational.” “Currently, there are 11 aircraft dedicated to suppressing the Meadow Fire, including seven helicopters and two fixed wing airplanes. Over 120 fire personnel are assigned to the fire including fire crews from the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service. There have been no reported injuries at this time. Hot shot crews are accessing the perimeter of the fire on foot in order to assist suppression efforts.” Most wildfires are caused by lightning, and it’s likely that this is the cause of our current burn (that said, it’s still under investigation). Because of the drought in California, there’s a lot of dry land, and these small blazes can spread quickly. As of yesterday, the Yosemite Meadow Fire had grown to 2,600 acres. The fire is located southeast of Yosemite Valley, towards the back of Half Dome. Trails near Half Dome, Merced Lake, Sunrise High Sierra, Clouds Rest, and Little Yosemite Valley have been closed. For safety reasons, the trail and cables to hike Half Dome will be closed at least through September 11th. According to the NPS: “Evacuation of visitors in Yosemite’s Wilderness was completed yesterday. No further evacuations are anticipated”. “Smoke may be visible throughout the park and surrounding region. At this time, air quality in Yosemite Valley remains good. Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information on the smoke impacts to the park. Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose or http://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/fireinfo.htm.” If you have any questions or concerns, of course you are always welcome to Contact Us, but at this time, you can rest assured: your tour is still going, and the fire has not affected the areas of the park that we visit on our regular itineraries.