2014-10-02 / Front Page

Firefighting aircraft is down in Park

An image taken from El Portal shows smoke rising from a point inside Yosemite National Park's boundary on Tuesday afternoon. (Kirstie Kari | CONTRIBUTED)An image taken from El Portal shows smoke rising from a point inside Yosemite National Park's boundary on Tuesday afternoon. (Kirstie Kari | CONTRIBUTED)Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 - 7 p.m. - A CAL FIRE airtanker went down while attacking the Dog Fire near Yosemite's Arch Rock entrance around 4:30 p.m. this afternoon, Park and CAL FIRE officials have confirmed.

CAL FIRE spokesman Daniel Berlant said a single pilot was aboard the Grumman S-2 twin-engine craft.

"They are still trying to hike up to the crash site to identify (survivors or victims)," a spokesman at CAL FIRE's Emergency Command Center for the county said around 4:45 p.m. "They've got a big mess right now."

The wildfire has closed the road connecting El Portal to Yosemite's Arch Rock entrance, Park officials report. 

Airtankers were "en route" for an initial attack on the fire as of 4:15 p.m., Park fire information manager Gary Wuchner said. The wildfire had consumed about 130 acres as of that time, he said.

The incident was first reported at 2:35 p.m., a CHP Web site recorded.

The fire was burning near Dog Rock, a granite feature that juts over the road inside Yosemite's boundary. The blaze was moving upslope towards Foresta, and an evacuation advisory has been issued for the community, Park spokesperson Kari Cobb said.

About four families reside permanently in Foresta, Wuchner said. Homes in the area were notified via Mariposa County's automated phone message system, he added.

Additional updates will be posted to the GAZETTE's Web site as soon as they become available.

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I read with a real sickness

I read with a real sickness in my heart for the pathetic excuse that Mariposa County is using for "culling the herds of hungry bears". Your very article stated that there is no longer a food source thanks to the state going up in flames, so these magnificent animals are being being brutaly murdered because they are not able to find food in their native habitat! With all the things we have at our disposal, like dumping food in the mountains to keep them away from people, like they do in places like Yellowstone Park, there are ways to help these helpless creatures to survive without trapping and killing them! I have grown up in Yosemite, married in the chapel. spent countless summers in Mariposa and Yosemite and your area of the state and this latest news makes me want to never set foot in your county again. Shame on you, your postcards and stationary show cute little animals, all the while you chose to kill them rather than to find a more humane way to help them survive that they deserve, it is not their fault that mankind has encroached on their land but the bears certainly didn't start the fires, that for the most part was done by STUPID, SENSESLESS HUMANS!!!

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