2014-03-06 / Front Page

Low snow recorded, prescribed burn planned

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 3 p.m. - The Merced River drainage snowpack stood at just 26 percent of normal this week, Yosemite rangers said. 

The zone below 7,000 feet is particularly dry this year, with the current snowpack there standing at 16 percent of normal, Yosemite wilderness Ranger Mark Fincher estimated.

By the end of this month, Park firefighters plan to conduct the season's first prescribed burn near Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. 

"This year, March is the ideal timeframe for prescribed fire due to minimal snowpack and rain," the Park said in a statement. "Typically, fuels and vegetation would be too wet to burn this time of year."

The burn is scheduled for a 57-acre area of Tuolomne County near the reservoir's O'Shaughnessy Dam.

A skier enjoyed a snow-covered trail near the 7,000-foot level at the county's Badger Pass ski area last month. Erik Skindrud / The GAZETTEA skier enjoyed a snow-covered trail near the 7,000-foot level at the county's Badger Pass ski area last month. Erik Skindrud / The GAZETTE

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