Fires Near Yosemite, July 2018
It’s Sunday afternoon, and I’m sitting down to write the next chapter for Yosemite Discovered. I need to research the name of an 1850’s hotel in Mariposa CA. I search for Mariposa on the Web and discover the first pic above of the Ferguson fire. Shocked, I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. I just visited this area two months ago while conducting research for my YA historical novel about the discovery of Yosemite.
The second pic (and video)above shows my visit to one of my historical figure’s trading posts off CA Highway 140 along the Merced River this past May. Now, this highway is currently closed due to the fire. At this point, I don’t even know if this sign still exists, or is a pile of ash. While driving from Mariposa to the Merced River Trading Post, I took a short video clip of this section on Hwy 140. (See pic and video on the right.)
Here’s a blurb from the article:
July 19 – Nearly 2,200 firefighters from across the nation have poured into Gold Country to fight the Ferguson Fire just a few miles from Yosemite National Park.
The Ferguson Fire started Friday night and is burning toward the south and east. Mandatory evacuations have been ordered along Incline Road, in the Jerseydale/Mariposa Pines area, the Cedar Lodge/Indian Flat Campground area, Savage’s Trading Post and Sweetwater Ridge.
(Bold added for my emphasis!)
Other posted articles say the fire has jumped the Merced River and is near El Portal, an entry point from Highway 140 into Yosemite. My writing friend, Shelly H., and I stopped for some pics while researching there in May. In my novel, the historical figure, James Savage, had his Merced River trading post burned down by the Ahwahneechee (Yosemite) Indians in 1850. He, along with his Miwok friends and my fictional character, chase the Yosemites up the Merced River, probably to this spot. They stopped here because the canyon closes in, and it would have provided an excellent place for an Ahwhaneechee ambush. A short excerpt from my manuscript regarding this event can be found on the June 9, 2018, blog.