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Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerras

Hiking, backpacking, running, biking, climbing, rafting, and other human-powered activities in Yosemite National Park

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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby balzaccom » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:53 pm

The new Donnell Fire has closed Highway 108 above Pinecrest Lake. Mandatory evacuations ordered for Clark Fork, Dardanelles, and Kennedy Meadows.
Check out our website and blog at: http://sites.google.com/site/backpackthesierra/home
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby AlmostThere » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:20 am

Just came out of dinkey wilderness- was hazy yesterday and clear today. Great weather. All depends on which way the wind blows.
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:09 pm

Tyler,

You can check out the twice-daily reports on the Ferguson Fire by going to the Sierra National Forest Facebook page, but as of this morning's report, they appear to be dealing with a few breakouts of the lines. The big one is up along Glacier Pt Road. That one has a lot of fuel in a lot of wilderness. That's a big, active suppression effort right now. There are also some problems further north up on Hwy 41 where they didn't back burn, along Hwy 140 where the fire jumped the Merced River and headed up to the town of Foresta, and then also along Hwy 120 where there are a lot of "hazard trees" (snags) burning, and they can't put crews in because of safety issues. The one good piece of news in it all is that the infill of the main fire footprint between the east flank of the original burn and the west flank of the back burn up along Hwy 41 is about out of fuel, and the winds that intensified it and created spot fires outside the line over the weekend have died down slightly. If they can get a handle on the outbreaks, they'll have it under control. That's not to say that hotspots inside the burned area will stop producing smoke probably until it rains, but it should get things back to some semblance of at least a tolerable, breathable normal.

Right now, too, YNP has announced that the existing closures are "indefinite". However, the full containment date of 08/15 is still in place, with about 40%-ish so far. So, aside from that, smoke everywhere, other fires creating even more smoke and closures all over the place. You're going to have to stay fully apprised on a daily basis to know what to do, and even then, you're probably not going to even know in what direction to go until you're actually in LA. I know it's not the Sierra trip you had in mind, but you might want to go ahead and now start thinking of some uniquely California hiking along the coast. Close by LA, the San Bernardino Mts and Channel Islands up by Santa Barbara come to mind.

But, it aint over till it's over, so cross your fingers and hope. The next 5 or 6 days are going to be a very, very long time, and for you, might as well seem like somewhere around forever in pinning down your thoughts. Things can either go really bad or surprisingly well, quickly. Big moment for just about everyone right here and now.
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 06, 2018 2:03 pm

Useful links for fire locations, smoke, status by name, closures, maps, social media sources, and other info and updates:

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5927/

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/accessible-view/

Link for HST with running updates and recent trip and condition reports from hikers and backpackers:

http://www.highsierratopix.com/communit ... 34&t=18250
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby Phil » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:21 am

I'm going to go slightly out on a limb here, and while you'll undoubtedly have some smoke to deal with at certain times of the day, start getting ready to go to Yosemite next week. Getting there might take a little more time in a roundabout sort of way, and you should try to focus on the areas up and around TM, but they got this.

And at least have lunch in one of the communities close by that could sure use the money. We've been inconvenienced, but they've gotten hit hard when it matters to them the most. And if you run into any firefighters, shake their hands and thank them profusely.
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby robow8 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:26 pm

Phil wrote:I'm going to go slightly out on a limb here, and while you'll undoubtedly have some smoke to deal with at certain times of the day, start getting ready to go to Yosemite next week. Getting there might take a little more time in a roundabout sort of way, and you should try to focus on the areas up and around TM, but they got this.

And at least have lunch in one of the communities close by that could sure use the money. We've been inconvenienced, but they've gotten hit hard when it matters to them the most. And if you run into any firefighters, shake their hands and thank them profusely.


This. Especially the part about spending some money locally and thanking the firefighters!
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Re: Where to go backpacking. Backup plan ANYWHERE in Sirerra

Postby Phil » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:35 pm

Well, I do love a happy ending. Tyler and his buddies ended up going to Young Lakes starting this morning, and then plan to try to pick up a Rafferty Creek permit in a couple days and either head up to Bernice Lake or drop back down to Lyell Canyon. I spoke to him on the phone this morning on the trail up to the lakes, and he reported that the crowds were still small, the TM permit office not very crowded, and that it was a beautiful, sunny day with only a little haze in the distance.
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