HomeYosemiteRim Fire Update
Rim Fire Plume from Glacier Point

August 27, 2013

The Rim Fire continues to expand at an alarming rate! Yet its effects on Yosemite Valley and the views from Glacier Point remain minimal except for the spectacular cloud and smoke plumes that are visible from the Glacier Point Road. Air quality and photographic qualities remain excellent as one can see from this photo taken today.

Rim Fire Plume from Glacier Point

Here one can see the heat from the fire rising until the temperature of the air cools sufficiently to become saturated. (Cold air cannot hold as much water in vapor form as can warm air.) When the rising air becomes saturated, cloud droplets form, releasing latent heat (nearly 600 calories/ gram of water [think of cooling sweat evaporating from your skin]), and that latent heat is released to the cloud, making it rise further, cooling more, condensing more moisture, releasing more heat. So up the clouds rise above the fireā€¦

Wildlife sightings:

Black Bear

Today, we saw three of the most common large wildlife species that people really enjoy seeing: Deer which are the most common and tame; a coyote on the Glacier Pt. Rd which, unfortunately, seems to wait at strategic vehicle turnouts for handouts of human food (Please do not offer your food!) and, most sought-after, a mother bear and her cubs. She and her cubs had crossed the Glacier Pt. road just in front of our van, so we found a safe turnout, stopped, and had an opportune view of the mother from a safe distance, searching the fallen logs in the forest for ants and termites that live there and provide her with food.

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