What to Know About the Washburn Wildfire in Yosemite

As much as we love the wilderness that surrounds Mammoth Lakes, even in a place as well cared for as Yosemite National Park there’s always the chance for wildfire in natural areas.

That’s exactly what we’ve seen with the Washburn fire that’s currently burning in Yosemite. Yosemite is one of the most popular national parks in the country, and summer is a great time to visit which is why the ASO Mammoth team has created a quick guide to what you need to know about the Washburn Wildfire.

Read all about it below and then enjoy the Sierra wilderness when you visit!

Yosemite National Park is Open Despite the Wildfire

The Washburn Wildfire is currently over 4,375 acres, but Yosemite is also a massive national park which has allowed it to stay open to visitors.

Although warm and dry weather has made the fire difficult to suppress, firefighters currently have the fire 27% contained and were able to protect the famous Sequoia Trees in Mariposa Grove.

Should You Visit Yosemite National Park or Cancel Due to Wildfires?

Yosemite is a large park with everything from paved walking paths to extreme sports spread out over miles of wilderness. On top of all those possibilities, weather, especially the wind, can change conditions day to day.

Whether or not you should visit Yosemite while there are wildfires in the area depends on the conditions that day and what you plan on doing in the park. If you’re backpacking on strenuous trails in the backcountry then wildfire smoke will have more of an effect on your plans than a casual drive through the valley.

However, one certainty is that you should avoid any areas where fire crews are working or the park has closed due to fire damage. Not only is it dangerous due to fire and smoke, but fire crews need the roads to be empty to do their job.

That being said, the resources below will help you decide on whether to visit Yosemite or not.

How to Track the Washburn Wildfire and Conditions in Yosemite

To start, the official Yosemite National Park Twitter account is a great place to find accurate information about the park like closures or changes in service.

Next, Inciweb’s page on the Washburn Fire is an excellent way to track the size and containment of the fire. At first you’ll see the map that shows the area the fire is covering and other key stats. If you scroll down though, you’ll see more details about the fire and closures in the incident overview section.

One of the most important factors to consider when visiting Yosemite during wildfire season is the air quality, and Purple Air and AirNow  are both great places to get current information about air quality.

Even if you stay away from fire areas, wildfire smoke can travel for miles on the wind, so check the air quality index before any visit to the park!