Five Lightning-Caused Wildfires Burning in Yosemite

There are multiple fires burning in Yosemite National Park’s wilderness. Wildfires when caused by lightning are a natural phenomenon on the landscape, say park officials.

“Fire managers work to restore healthy forests and reduce the threat of extensive, severe fire by allowing some lightning-ignited wildfires to burn. While hiking trails and sitting at vistas you may see smoke in some of these areas.”

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are currently in place inside Yosemite National Park. Please review the details for Stage 2 Fire Restrictions, which will remain in place until further notice.

For more information visit

Yosemite Fires:

Indian Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 4, 2018
Location: Near Porcupine Camp Ground in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 102 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Monitor Cause: Lightning
Predominate growth is on the north and west flanks of the fire, fire behavior is creeping and smoldering with pockets of condensed heat in heavy dead and down fuels. This fire is surrounded by many natural barriers and rock bands. Fire crews are monitoring daily with easy access off the Tioga road.
Fire crews will be working along Tioga road as the fire backs down towards the road. There may be smoke impacts to Porcupine Campground and Yosemite Valley at night and in the morning when smoke settles in low areas. There will also be smoke impacts to Tioga road, we urge motorists to follow all posted signs and use caution when driving in the area.

Rancheria Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 8, 2018
Location: North end of Rancheria Mountain in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 41 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Monitor.
Cause: Lightning
The fire is creeping though dead and down ground fuels in red fir. The spread is mostly north and southwest following vegetation pockets. There are some natural barriers including very green vegetation, rock out cropping’s, and changes in vegetation. Smoke production has been very light with some overnight accumulation in the Tuolumne river canyon. Fire crews will continue to assess impacts to trails.

Unicorn Fire
Discovery Date: July 28, 2018
Location: Unicorn Peak Area in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 2.6 acres
Status: Active
Strategy: Occasional patrol with very low spread.
Cause: Lightning
The Fire is at 9,500 feet in elevation. Smoke may be visible from Tuolumne meadows.

Pinnacles Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 8, 2018
Location: Near Clouds Rest in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 1/10th acre
Status: Active
Strategy: Monitor
Cause: Lightning
This is a high elevation fire with low spread potential, burning near areas of granite and rock outcroppings.

Rafferty Fire
Discovery Date: Sept. 21, 2018
Location: Near Ireland Lake in Yosemite’s Wilderness
Size: 1/10th acre
Status: Active
Strategy: Monitor
Cause: Lightning
This is a high elevation fire with low spread potential, burning near areas of granite and rock outcroppings

For more information:

Yosemite National Park Fire Updates Page:
Yosemite Fire and Aviation Facebook
Yosemite Fire and Aviation Twitter
Fire Information:
For general park information call 209-379-0200

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