July 26th, when Ken took his tour to Glacier Point there was a week-old fire update posted on an information board which included a map of the fires currently burning in Yosemite. The fires were ignited by lightning by a series of storms during the week of July 16th. On the map those fires are marked with small red fire symbols; some of the fires’ names are labeled.
When we got out to Glacier Point, I could see that the Dark Hole Fire on upper Yosemite Creek had grown considerably in the previous 48 hours; we could even see flames with binoculars. However, I could not get the flames on a picture.
After leaving Glacier Point, we went down to Yosemite Valley to view the scenic wonders of the Valley. After walking up to the pool beneath Lower Yosemite Fall, we drove down the Valley toward El Capitan where we saw a HUGE smoke plume from somewhere down the canyon. Thus, Ken decided to forego the usual stop near El Capitan Meadow and continue toward El Portal, to decrease the likelihood of being trapped by a possible closure of Hwy 140.
When we arrived at Yosemite View Lodge, where some of our guests were staying, we could see flames above the hillside and helicopters sucking water from the Merced River and flying over the ridge to deliver their water loads onto the fire out of our sight.
Occasionally, the fire would come over the ridge toward Yosemite View Lodge,, but then it would retreat out of our view.