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Fire at a glance (numbers)

  • Incident Name:
  • State:
  • Lead Agency:
  • Size (acres):
  • Percent Contained:
  • Estimate of Containment:
  • Personnel:
  • Structures Destroyed:

Railroad, Sierra NF. Forty miles northeast of Chowchilla, CA. Timber and logging slash. Minimal fire behavior. Road, trail and area closures in effect.

September 17, 2017 at 9:35 AM

The Sierra National Forest Type 3 Team is managing the incident.

Crews will continue fire line suppression repair and mop-up on all parts of the fire. Resource Advisors from the Forest Service identified the extent of suppression repair needed. Those repairs can vary depending upon the intended use of the affected area after the fire. The fire continues to cool, but some areas may still produce smoke for several more days.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team continues there survey of the burn area.

Firefighting resources, such as engines and crews, continue to be released from the Railroad Fire. The public is reminded that a lot of firefighting equipment will be traveling on local roads going into the Railroad Fire area and others will be leaving the community heading to other incidents.

With Highway 41 open, drivers are urged to drive with caution as a large firefighting presence remains along the highway, residential streets and Forest roads. CalTrans does have parking restrictions in place along the highway due to fire crews still preforming suppression repair work. Travelers can expect to see smoke within the fire area as interior islands, and heavy down material smolder.

September 14, 2017 at 7:00 AM

The Railroad Fire transitioned to a Sierra National Forest Type 3 management organization this morning at 6:00 AM.

Crews will continue fire line suppression repair and mop-up on all parts of the fire. Resource Advisors from the Forest Service identified the extent of suppression repair needed. Those repairs can vary depending upon the intended use of the affected area after the fire. The fire continues to cool, but some areas may still produce smoke for several more days.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team continues there survey of the burn area.

Firefighting resources, such as engines and crews, continue to be released from the Railroad Fire. The public is reminded that a lot of firefighting equipment will be traveling on local roads going into the Railroad Fire area and others will be leaving the community heading to other incidents.

With Highway 41 open, drivers are urged to drive with caution as a large firefighting presence remains along the highway, residential streets and Forest roads. CalTrans does have parking restrictions in place along the highway due to fire crews still preforming suppression repair work. Travelers can expect to see smoke within the fire area as interior islands, and heavy down material smolder.

September 13, 2017 at 7:45 AM

There were no fire crews on the fire line last night. Today fire crews will continue with mop up operations to extinguish hot spots near the fire perimeter. Fire crews will also continue with fire line suppression repair, repairing or improving land damaged during fire suppression and line construction activity. Resource Advisors from the Forest Service have identified the extent of suppression repair needed. Those repairs can vary depending upon the intended use of the affected area after the fire. Resource Advisors identify natural and cultural resources which may have been impacted during the Railroad Fire.

The Burned Area Emergency Response (BAER) Team personnel will begin arriving at the incident over the next few days. The BAER program is designed to address emergency situations through its key goals of protecting life, property, and critical natural and cultural resources. BAER teams are staffed by specially trained professionals: hydrologists, soil scientists, engineers, biologists, vegetation specialists, archeologists, and others who rapidly evaluate the burned area and prescribe emergency stabilization treatments.

With Highway 41 open, drivers are urged to drive with caution as a large firefighting presence remains along the highway, residential streets and Forest roads. CalTrans does have parking restrictions in place along the highway due to fire crews still preforming suppression repair work. Travelers can expect to see smoke within the fire area as interior islands, and heavy down material smolder.

The Railroad Fire will transition to a Sierra National Forest Type 3 management organization Thursday morning at 7:00 AM.

The Sierra National Forest Closure Order remains in place for the area impacted by the Railroad Fire. The full Forest Closure Order and map can be viewed at www.fs.usda.gov/sierra/

September 11, 2017 at 9:28 AM

Fire line construction was completed last night. Today will continue with mop up operations to extinguish hot spots near the fire perimeter. No spread was observed and only interior smoldering was noted.

Fire crews will begin fire line suppression repair, repairing or improving land damaged during fire suppression and line construction activity. Resource Advisors from the Forest Service have identified the extent of suppression repair needed. Those repairs can vary depending upon the intended use of the affected area after the fire. Resource Advisors identify natural and cultural resources which may have been impacted during the Railroad Fire.

With Highway 41 open, drivers are urged to drive with caution as a large firefighting presence remains along the highway, residential streets and Forest roads. CalTrans does have parking restrictions in place along the highway due to fire crews still preforming suppression repair work. Travelers can expect to see smoke within the fire area as interior islands, and heavy down material smolder.

All evacuation orders have been lifted.

September 9, 2017 at 11:57 AM

A second night of cooler temperatures with higher humidity kept fire to a minimum overnight.  Today’s forecast is calling for slightly higher temperatures and a chance of thunderstorms this afternoon. Fire crews will continue to extinguish hot spots along the perimeter of the fire.  The fire still remains active on the east side.  Burning operations intended to improve the defense of the community of Cedar Valley continued successfully. Travelers along Highway 41, can expect to see smoke within the fire area as interior islands, and heavy down material smolder.

Photo Credit: Josh Orcutt, Sierra NF

Fire crews will begin fire line suppression repair, repairing or improving land damaged during fire suppression and line construction activity.  Resource Advisors from the Forest Service have identified the extent of suppression repair needed.  Those repairs can vary depending upon the intended use of the affected area after the fire.  Resource Advisors identify natural and cultural resources which may have been impacted during the Railroad Fire.

Tentative timeline for repopulation and Hwy 41:

Sugar Pine

– Residents only beginning 3:00pm on Saturday

Cedar Valley

– Residents only, unknown when, by end of weekend maybe

Highway 41

-Full opening by Saturday at 5:00pm

Bissett Station Road

-Will remain under advisory evacuation between Hwy 41 and Round House

Law Enforcement will maintain a presence in the area.

September 8, 2017 at 8:15 AM

Tenitive timeline for repopulation and Hwy 41:
Fish Camp, Tenaya Lodge
-Mandatory order will lift at 1200pm on Friday, must enter via Yosemite Park.
Sky Ranch
-Residents only beginning 5:00pm on Friday
Suger Pine
– Residents only beginning 3:00pm on Saturday
Ceder Valley/The Grove/Ecco
– Residents only, unknown when, by end of weekend maybe
Highway 41
-Full opening by Saturday at 5:00pm
Bissett Station Road
-Will remain under advisory evacuation between Hwy 41 and Round House
Law Enforcement will maintain a Law Enforcement presence in the area. Madera County Sheriff’s Office will continue to issue re-entry passes Friday morning 9/8/17 from 9:30am to 1:00pm at the Sheriff’s Office Sub-station in Oakhurst.

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity’s overnight kept fire activity minimal. Today fire crews will continue to extinguish hot spots along the perimeter of the fire on the west and north flanks, holding on the north side at Rainier Creek. The fire does remain active on the east side. Burning operations intended to improve the defense of the community of Cedar Valley continued successfully. Bulldozers are creating a fire break on the northeast side of the fire around Big Sandy and above Speckerman Mountain.

September 6, 2017 at 10:41 AM

There will be a public meeting on Thursday, September 7 at the Mountain Christian Center (40299 Highway 49) in Oakhurst at 7 pm. Fire officials will be on hand to answer any questions.

Containment increased yesterday as crews worked to extinguish hot spots along the perimeter of the fire on the west and north flanks, holding on the north side at Rainier Creek. The fire remained active until moderating after dark when increased humidity recovery slowed fire spread. Burning operations intended to improve the defense of the communities of Sugar Pine and Cedar Valley continued successfully. These activities will continue on the west side of Cedar Valley to bring the fire down to Lewis Creek. Bulldozers are creating a fire break on the northeast side of the fire around Big Sandy and above Speckerman Mountain.

A chance of wet or dry thunderstorms with lightning and strong outflow winds is still a possibility today within the fire area. Thunderstorm risk and moderating temperatures will begin to decrease today, starting the trend toward warming and drying into the weekend.

Some residents in Fish Camp were allowed to return to their homes yesterday. All other evacuations remain in place. Hazard tree clearing will continue along Highway 41.

September 5, 2017 at 10:26 AM

Yesterday’s weather moderated fire behavior resulting in minimal fire growth. The west side of the fire remains stable with crews patrolling and mopping up. The east side continues to spread slowly through Big Sandy and the Nelder Grove. Firing operations will continue today between Sugar Pine and Cedar Valley, bringing the fire down to Lewis Creek.

Lower temperatures and higher humidity levels should assist firefighters in slowing fire spread and spotting. However, wet or dry thunderstorms with lightning and strong outflow winds are still a possibility today within the fire area.

Caltrans will continue to clear hazard trees along Highway 41. Their work will continue for the next several days to ensure safety for travelers into Fish Camp and Yosemite National Park. PG&E will be working on electric poles to restore power within the burned area.

Closures

Highway 41 is closed in both directions from south of Wawona to Sky Ranch Road. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale, Big Sandy, and Nelder Grove Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are closed. Sky Ranch Road is closed, as are roads between Beasore Road and Sky Ranch Road.

Resources assigned to the fire include 14 hand crews, 6 helicopters, 89 engines, 14 dozers. Air tankers have been ordered and will support the fire as available.

September 4, 2017 at 7:58 AM

Fire will continue to spread east toward Big Sandy and downslope from Speckerman Mountain Peak. Southwest spread will continue toward Sugar Pine. Further spread potential into the Nelder Grove Historic Area

CalTrans has begun to mitigate hazards along SR41 from Fish Camp south. Spots near White Chief Creek and the 5S06 road had their forward progress stopped. Tree mortality continues to an increased safety risk for personnel engaged on this fire. Personnel are reporting tree failures occurring at high rates after being weakened by fire passage. Medium range spotting is challenging constructed control lines slowing containment.

September 3, 2017 at 7:45 PM

Active, Spotting, Short crown runs, Single tree torching. An evacuation order was issued for Cedar Valley due to southerly fire spread, just east of Sugar Pine, threatening the community from the north at approximately 11 am. At 1630, a thunderstorm developed directly over the fire which produced 30+ mph outflow winds which caused the south and southwest side of the fire to become active with long range spotting requiring crews to disengage from the southern area. The community of Sky Ranch has been placed under an evacuation order.

September 3, 2017 at 10:54 AM

The Madera County Sheriff has ordered an evacuation order for the Cedar Valley Subdivision at 10 am today due to an unexpected spot fire across the line. The Sheriff’s Office encourages residents to take important documents, pets, and medications. People will not be allowed in until the danger has passed.

A Red Cross shelter will be established at the Oakhurst Community Center (39800 Road 425B) in Oakhurst.

September 3, 2017 at 9:45 AM

Increased containment was reached yesterday as crews were successful in securing more of the west side of the fire. The fire continues to burn in high tree mortality areas in areas that have not burned in nearly 100 years. Spotting due to dry conditions continues to present operational challenges for firefighters in both day and night shifts.

Temperatures will moderate today and into early this week, bringing increased moisture to the region. Humidity levels will increase due to a tropical air mass and promote cooling and increased cloud cover.

Caltrans is working on clearing hazard trees along Highway 41. Their work will continue for the next several days to ensure safety for travelers into Fish Camp and Yosemite National Park.

Closures

Highway 41 is closed in both directions from south of Wawona to Cedar Valley Drive. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale, Big Sandy, and Nelder Grove Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are closed. Sky Ranch Road is closed at Buckskin, as are roads between Beasore Drive and Sky Ranch Road. Communities in the Sky Ranch Road area are under an advisory evacuation.

Resources assigned to the fire include 14 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 88 engines, 12 dozers. Air tankers have been ordered and will support the fire as available.

September 2, 2017 at 8:57 AM

The fire continues to be dominated by unseasonably hot and dry weather. Yesterday’s spread grew into the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias. High tree mortality rates along with stands that have no significant fire history contribute to spotting and fire growth, posing a challenge for firefighters. Crews started firing operations yesterday in the northeast corner of the fire to slow the increase of the fire.

Temperatures will continue to be above normal with low relative humidity levels until early next week.

Damage assessments are ongoing. PG&E is beginning to repair electric lines within the fire area. Residents in the Fish Camp and Sugar Pine communities are not yet allowed back into the area.

Closures

Highway 41 is closed in both directions from south of Wawona to Cedar Valley Drive. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale, Big Sandy, and Nelder Grove Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are closed. Sky Ranch Road is closed at Buckskin. The camps at Redwood, Paradise Springs, and Calvin Crest are closed until further notice. Communities in the Sky Ranch Road area are under an advisory evacuation.

Resources assigned to the fire include 12 crews, 4 helicopters, 58 engines, 8 dozers. Air tankers have been ordered and will support the fire as they become available.

September 1, 2017 at 9:47 AM

The fire was active yesterday and grew primarily on the east side toward Big Sandy. The fire continues to burn in high tree mortality areas of Ponderosa Pine and Incense Cedar. Firefighters continue to build direct and indirect line to protect the communities of Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, and the Nelder Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Yesterday’s unstable atmosphere continued to contribute to large vertical plume development in the afternoon. Temperatures will continue to be above normal with low relative humidity levels dominating the area. Extreme heat is expected to stay in the area through the weekend.

A community meeting was held last night in Oakhurst and was attended by about 300 people.

Closures

Highway 41 is closed in both directions from south of Wawona to Cedar Valley Drive. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale, Big Sandy, and Nedler Grove Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are closed. Roads west of Sky Ranch Road on the National Forest are closed.

Communities in the Sky Ranch Road area are under an advisory evacuation. This is an increased level of awareness for the area. If residents are not comfortable staying in their homes, they are advised to leave.

Resources assigned to the fire include 9 crews, 4 helicopters, 30 engines, 7 dozers, 12 water tenders.

August 31, 2017 at 10:40 AM

There will be a community meeting Thursday, August 31 at the Community Center in Oakhurst at 7 pm.

The fire was active yesterday and grew primarily toward the north and east. Firefighters continue to build direct and indirect line to protect the community of Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, and the Yosemite Mountain Ranch. Dry conditions and tree mortality are contributing to fast growth of the fire. A mandatory evacuation has been issued by the Sherriff’s Office to the communities of Fish Camp and Sugar Pine. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Community Center in Oakhurst.

Highway 41 has a hard closure north of Cedar Valley Drive to the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park, and Highway 41 south from Wawona to the South Entrance of Yosemite. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale and Big Sandy Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are also closed.

Concern is for firefighter safety due to the heat and snags in steep terrain. Temperatures remain above normal with lower relative humidity levels dominating the area. Extreme heat is expected to stay in the area throughout the week.

Resources assigned to the fire include 7 crews, 4 helicopters, 21 engines, 6 dozers, 7 water tenders.

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire at 1800 August 30, 2017.

August 30, 2017 at 7:34 AM

The fire is burning in steep terrain with heavy fuel loading. Fire Crews made good progress last night. Additional resources have been ordered. A Type 2 Incident Management Team will take over the fire today. Evacuations and closures remain in effect.

Evacuations: Mandatory Evacuations in place for the communities of Sugar Pine and Fish Camp.

Road Closures: Hwy 41 has been closed. Yosemite visitors use Hwy 49 to Mariposa.

August 29, 2017 at 8:18 PM

500 acres brush and timber, 0% contained
CA IMT 2 (Mills) mobilized with a tentative inbrief @ 0600 tomorrow
Extreme fire behavior with crowning and running
Structures threatened
Mandatory evacuations in place
Road closure remains in effect for Highway 41

August 29, 2017 at 6:41 PM

The Railroad Fire started August 29, 2017 at approximately 1300 hrs. West of Highway 41, near the community of Sugar Pine, South of Yosemite National Park and Fish Camp.

It is a vegetation fire burning on the Sierra NF. The fire is burning in steep terrain, with difficult access and heavy fuel loading. Potential for this fire is high.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Sugar Pine and Sugar Pine Camp with an evacuation advisory for the community of Fish Camp.

There are 100 structures threatened.

Highway 41 is in a hard closure from Westphal to the South entrance to Yosemite National Park. Yosemite visitors are to use Highway 49 and Highway 140 for entrance to the National Park.