Yosemite Fire nearing Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

Progression of Rim fire.

Progression of Rim fire.

This graphic shows how the fire has grown in about a week. The red center is Day 1…we are now where the purple is. It’s called the Rim fire, named for the ‘Rim of the World’ overlook above the Tuolumne River canyon along highway 120. There is a car pullout there and you can gaze at the deep Tuolumne River Canyon – and it is steep.

Current facts are: It’s pretty much surrounds Lake Eleanor and Cherry Lake is next. These are in the Yosemite backcountry and backpackers have been removed. Facts:  161,000 acres black. 3,600 fire fighters on scene 24 hours. Fire does not sleep. Temps now about 61 degrees but the winds are from the southwest at 15 mph, fanning it towards Hetch Hetchy. Smoke is permeating the region. It’s “unhealthy” at Reno. Containment is at 20%. This is a good bump up.

The issue of concern is the water in the reservoir. When ash gets on the top, it will settle. When it gets into the turbine blades they can get damaged. The turbines that generates electricity have been turned off. The transmission lines are most likely melted. The water for SF is pumped out from deep in the reservoir…but that ash will slowly sink and the water will be undrinkable. So that’s the crux. SF is said to have other water sources and I’m sure there will be sharing between counties. My county – Santa Clara –  uses underground aquifers that are replenished from surface reservoirs. Then there is the delta. I’m surprised rationing has not begun. One flush a day.

Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt 

MrHalfDome™ – Rick Deutsch – www.HikeHalfDome.com

One Best Hike: Yosemite’s Half Dome


About Mr Half Dome - Rick Deutsch

Mr Half Dome. Has written the only half dome hiking guide, One Best Hike: Yosemite's Half Dome. Has hiked it 31 times to day. Lives in San Jose, CA Available for presentations. Carpe Diem Experience, LLC
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2 Responses to Yosemite Fire nearing Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

  1. David says:

    Could be an interesting test case. If SF can manage w/o Hetch Hetchy for water or electricity during this crisis, then they can manage without permanently. Too bad the delta and ocean are so close to SF, could be two easy ways to supplement their water usage.

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