Day visitors and overnight campers in Yosemite National Park were greeted this morning to choking smoke and obscured views caused by a wildfire burning in neighboring Sierra National Forest.
The Carstens Fire burning in Mariposa County has consumed 1,000 acres near Midpines. The wildfire began yesterday off Carstens road near highway 140 in extremely dry fuel comprised of brush, grass, oak and mixed conifers. Prevailing N/W winds predicted at 5 to 15 mph today should push the fire towards higher elevations into timber that has not been touched by fire in decades.
In 2008 the Telegraph Fire burned more than 40,000 acres west and north of the Carstens Fire ground. Cal Fire was first to respond yesterday and the fire is under a joint command now with the U.S. Forest Service. Once the Forest Service takes full command and if it runs beyond the structure protection teams manning the community of Jerseydale expect the team to go to a defensive posture.
Expect extended obscured morning Yosemite Valley views for some days or even weeks to come.