Tioga Road access restricted due to Big Meadow FireAugust 31st, 2009 by Greg, Information & Restoration Specialist
Tioga Road (Hwy 120) closed between White Wolf and Crane Flat in Yosemite at 3:30 pm Monday due to smoke. Note that Caltrans had not updated its Website as of 5:30 pm–use the link below for the latest updates within the park.
Prior to this closure it was closed at the same location at night with controlled traffic (pilot car) during the day due to fire suppression operations in the area.
The nearest open route to Yosemite Valley from the Mono Basin is over Sonora Pass (Hwy 108) to Hwy 49 to Hwy 140. When Tioga Road was open, the detour around Big Oak Flat Road to Yosemite Valley via Hwy 49 took an additional 2-3 hours.
The Big Meadow fire started last week as a prescribed burn that quickly escaped controls. It threatened the communities of Foresta and El Portal and closed Big Oak Flat Road. The smoke was moving north until the weekend when it started spilling over into the Mono Basin–the worst of the smoke was on Sunday.