Yosemite National Park (CA)
Visitors Evacuated By Helicopter Due To Fire
A wildfire that started early yesterday afternoon east of Half Dome quickly grew to 700 acres and forced the helicopter evacuation of about 100 hikers from the top of Half Dome, Little Yosemite Valley and surrounding trails.
There were no reported injuries or structures affected by the wildfire. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
Throughout the afternoon, seven helicopters, an airplane, and ground crews worked to extinguish the fire. The area, which is at an elevation of about 7,000 feet, features rugged terrain. Ground access requires a several mile hike to the area affected by the fire.
Yosemite National Park firefighters are working with fire crews from Cal Fire, Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks, Mariposa County Fire, California Highway Patrol, and U.S. Forest Service. There are over 100 firefighters dedicated to the fire, with more resources en route.
Yosemite National Park remains open and all facilities within Yosemite Valley. Trails near the Half Dome area, the Little Yosemite Valley area (a backcountry camping area near Half Dome), Merced Lake and Sunrise High Sierra Camps, Clouds Rest, and Echo Valley remain closed due to fire activity. All roads leading into Yosemite remain open as well.
Visitors are urged to check the park’s website to get updated information in the smoke impacts to Yosemite National Park. Updated information can be found at www.nps.gov/yose.
Olympic National Park (WA)
Search Underway For Missing Backpacker
A search was begun late Saturday for Kelly Hall, a 64-year old Bainbridge Island man who was two days overdue from an intended six-day, 39-mile hike in the northeast corner of of the park.
Hall began his hike on Saturday, August 30th, setting out from the Obstruction Point Trailhead near Hurricane Ridge. Family members expected to meet him at the USFS Slab Camp Trailhead last Thursday afternoon. He was reported overdue on Thursday evening.
Hall’s planned itinerary was to hike through Grand Valley to Grand Pass, then continue over Cameron Pass, pass through Dose Meadows to Gray Wolf Pass, and follow the Gray Wolf Trail into the Buckhorn Wilderness in Olympic National Forest.
Hall is described as being 6’5” tall and weighing 220 pounds. He’s carrying a blue backpack and wearing a blue Mountain Hardware stocking cap. He’s believed to be carrying a blue-gray tent and to have orange flip flops and a fishing pole tied to his pack. Anyone who’s seen him or knows something about his possible whereabouts is asked to call the park at at 360-565-3120.
As of late yesterday, there were 16 searchers in the field, including National Park Service employees and volunteers, plus volunteers from Olympic Mountain Rescue, Clallam County Search and Rescue, and German Shepherd Search Dogs.
Lake Clark National Park & Preserve (AK)
Four Hikers Rescued From Copper Mountain
On the evening of Sunday, August 31st, four hikers were rescued from Copper Mountain in Lake Clark National Park and Preserve. Three of the hikers were off-duty Lake Clark employees.
The National Park Service’s Alaska Region Communication Center received a distress call from a park radio around 7:30 p.m., reporting that a seasonal maintenance employee in the group had sustained a life-threatening injury in a fall. Members of the party provided first aid, but they were unable to move him due to unstable terrain.
National Park Service personnel and Alaska state troopers in Port Alsworth worked with the Alaska Rescue Coordination Center to rescue the hikers. The Air National Guard responded with an HC-130 aircraft and an HH-60 helicopter with pararescue jumpers.
During the hoisting operation, another seasonal maintenance employee for Lake Clark, who was on furlough from the Grand Canyon, sustained a significant head injury as a result of falling rock debris.
All four hikers were brought aboard the helicopter and flown to Anchorage. The two injured men are currently receiving treatment at Providence Alaska Medical Center.
Injured hiker rescued – http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2014/09/rescue-underway-for-injured-hiker-near-mount-pugh/
Missing couple rescued – http://www.kpax.com/news/missing-couple-in-bighorn-national-forest-found-alive/