Yosemite National Park is updating its Fire Management Plan to incorporate changes to guidance on federal wildland fire policy, according to the National Park Service.
The updated plan will allow the park to make decisions based on science, weather, and local concerns rather than geographic zones. Federal wildland fire policy states that “the full range of strategic and tactical options is available and considered in response to every wildland fire.”
This policy made the park’s “suppression” and “fire use” zones obsolete. Thus the park is proposing to rezone the park to provide for a Community Protection Strategy that will allow fire managers to apply the flexibility provided in the current federal guidance.
This amendment will allow the park to better use fire to play a more beneficial role in reducing unnatural fuel buildup in areas that are at high risk for a future wildfire. The park will still use predetermined areas for prescribed fires but will now have the ability to use wildfires in areas where fires were previously suppressed.
More details about the park’s fire management plan amendment can be found online at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/YOSEFMPamend. The park will accept public comments on the amendment through July 15, and anticipates implementing the Community Protection Strategy this fire season.