Fire officials have reported that the fire crews are advancing against a ranging wildfire in the Yosemite National Park. The wildfire has rained ash in a reservoir that currently serves as the main source of the famous pure drinking water for San Francisco. The fire suppression team’s chief, Glen Stratton, said that even though the blaze was increasing, the containment numbers were up and they were optimistic that the fire crews were making progress. He further said that even after the fire reached the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir’s end, the crews were confident that they would be able to protect the infrastructure and that there would be no power or water disruption due to the raining ash.
Almost 3,700 firefighters are involved in the battle against the wildfire that has become the largest to be recorded in Sierra Nevada, California. By the evening of Monday, the wildfire that was reported on the 17th of Aug was 20% contained according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection for California. U.S Forest Service’s 1st spokesperson, Lee Bentley said that even though they were yet to snuff out the fire, they were starting to have a bit of handle on the situation.
Officials for utility have been monitoring the clearness of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and were now using a new $4.6 billion pipeline that is gravity operated so as to move water faster to the reservoirs near the city. The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir supplies water to 2.6 million people, 150 miles away in the San Francisco Bay area. San Francisco’s Public Utilities Commission general manager, Harlan Kelly JR., said they were taking advantage of the fact that the water they are receiving is still in good quality. He also said that they were pumping as much water as they could to refill all the local reservoirs.
The utility officials meanwhile assured the public that they had a water supply of six months in the reservoirs that were the Bay area. As for the ash that is raining, the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir had not sunk to the extent of the intake valves, which happen to be about halfway down the O’Shaughnessy Dam that is 300 feet deep. Utility officials said the raining ash was not toxic but they would start filtering the water if any problems were detected. This however could mean more extra costs.
As of Monday, the wildfire was still some miles away from the reservoir though there were several fire spots that were burning nearer and the firefighters were shielding the power transmission lines and other utilities. San Francisco has been forced to buy replacement power from elsewhere in order to run municipal buildings including the City Hall.
The wildfire comes 17 years since another similar fire devastated the northernmost part of the Yosemite, which is currently under siege. Scott Gediman, the park spokesman said the officials for the park cleared it and placed sprinklers on two giant sequoias groves that are 7-10 miles from the frontlines of the fore. Even though the sequoias. Even though the sequoias contain a chemical in their bark that helps them to resist fire, they can be destroyed in the fire moves through them slowly.