FRESNO, Calif. (KGPE/KSEE): The Washburn Fire in Yosemite National Park is at 97% containment as of Wednesday afternoon.
The Mariposa Grove that was once threatened by the fire is open to the public once again. The entrance to Mariposa Grove was an area once blocked off to the public as fire crews fought the flames of the Washburn Fire.
“All that we’ve been through with the fire and the road closures and the smoke, to get the grove open, and Yosemite is all about preservation and welcoming visitors,” said Scott Gediman with Yosemite National Park.
Visitors can still catch a glimpse of the Washburn Fire’s scar, the evidence of the devastation from just a month ago.
“It really wasn’t impacted much by the fire, you know, kind of on the outskirts we have a few trees that were burned,” said Gediman.
Although the fire was worrisome for firefighters and local residents, the measures park rangers and fire crews took to protect the trees ensured the flames did not burn away the historic trees.
“A lot of the trees, like the Mariposa Grove, if you look closely, you can some fire scars on it, and so the fire is a natural process. Did a lot of prescribed burning before the Washburn Fire and that really paid off,” said Gediman.
The Wawona Hotel has fully reopened as well after the fire took its toll on peak visitor months.
“The Washburn Fire came and the whole community and hotel had to be evacuated. All the rooms had to be canceled, we couldn’t host guests here,” said Chelsie Layman with Yosemite Hospitality.
Life returning to normal in the Mariposa Grove is a huge help for the community of Wawona.
“So much of this community is based off tourism and having guests come through, so it’s massive to be able to be back open and welcoming guests,” said Layman.
Visitors to Yosemite National Park still need to make a reservation to enter the site. More details can be found by clicking here.