Yosemite National Park area still smoky from Ferguson Fire
Following a month-long battle that cost two firefighters their lives and burned 96,901 acres, fire officials announced Sunday the Ferguson Fire is now 100 percent contained.
Although the fire is fully contained, firefighters will continue to work where the fire burned in the Stanislaus and Sierra National Forests and in Yosemite. Some islands of unburned vegetation will continue to ignite, but are not a threat to containment lines, fire officials said in a news release.
Firefighters said fighting the fire cost a total of $116.9 million. A fire official said the cost of a wildfire has a lot to do with its duration.
In comparison, the Soberanes Fire, which burned 132,127 acres in Monterey County, lasted from July to October 2016 and cost $236 million. The Rough Fire, which burned 151,623 acres in Fresno County from August to November 2015, cost about $100 million.
The fire, which began July 13, destroyed 10 structures, some of which were vacation cabins. Firefighters Braden Varney and Brian Hughes lost their lives fighting the blaze and 19 firefighters were injured. The fire also closed Yosemite Valley and evacuations were ordered for several communities.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
Around 880 personnel are still working at the site. During the fire’s peak, there were nearly 4,000 personnel assigned to the operation.
Wawona Road is expected to reopen on Friday after crews remove trees along the road, especially between Chinquapin and Tunnel View.
Glacier Point Road and Pohono Trail along the south rim of Yosemite Valley at Tunnel View remain closed at this time.
Air quality has improved for communities near the fire, including Yosemite Village — a situation that will remain, unless impacted by other fires burning in the area, fire officials said.