Hwy 108 to Open Tomorrow Afternoon - THROUGH TRAFFIC ONLY

The California Highway Patrol, California Department of Transportation, Stanislaus National Forest and the Sheriff’s office plan to open Highway 108 to through traffic only, on Sunday August 19th at 4pm.

Vehicles are prohibited from stopping or deviating from the highway between Eagle Meadow Road and Kennedy Meadow Road (Forest Service Road 6N01). The road to Kennedy Meadows and the resort will be open.

Sheriff Deputies and CHP Officers will be patrolling the highway to protect property still under mandatory evacuation.

Clark Fork Road, all campgrounds, Forest Service Roads, Organization Camps, Recreation Residence tracts and Dardanelle Resort will remain closed in this area.

The Forest Closure Orders also remain in effect, including Forest Service Road 5N01 (Eagle Meadow Road), the Pacific Crest Trail and the general forest in the fire area. The Sheriff’s office has modified the August 4th Evacuation Order to be consistent with this update (East from Eagle Meadow Road to the Kennedy Meadows Road).

Crews have mitigated hazard trees along Highway 108 where the Donnell Fire burned through last week. Re-opening the highway has been a priority since it was closed, but public and firefighter safety remain the first priority.

The Donnell Fire is only 42 percent contained. The public should remember to drive defensively while moving through this area. Expect the unexpected around every curve. Keep speed at or below the posted speed limit. Be extra careful around fire equipment and firefighters working along the roadside.

Contact: Donnell Fire Information at 209-536-5388

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Below is a 10:20 a.m. update on the Donnell Fire from MyMotherlode.com

Tuolumne County, CA – A nice hike in the containment on the Donnell Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest up to 42-percent containment while just a slight growth of 374 acres for a total of 31,743.

A visible smoke plume can still be seen from Highway 4 north of Spicer Reservoir, as reported in yesterdays update here. Fire activity in this area increased overnight due to steep, dense vegetation, dry fuels and gusty south and southwestern winds. Incident Command reports that uncommon fire activity last night was observed in the northwestern portion of the Carson-Iceberg Wilderness. To combat that, air tankers and helicopters will be making multiple drops today to try to moderate fire activity.

Additionally, the Hiram historic cabin has been wrapped with fire resistant material and nearby vegetation has been cleared to protect the structure as the fire continues to spread north. Further containment line was finished on the northwest and southeast portions of the fire. Moderate fire activity remains on the northeastern and eastern edges. Hazard tree mitigation continues along Highway 108.

Weatherwise, with the temperatures rising, lower humidity and fuel moistures along with increased winds up to 25 mph, vegetation is incredibly receptive to long distance spotting, according to fire officials who indicate that is a concern. The conditions are not expected to get any better through next week. Incident Command advises gusty afternoon west to southwest winds could make for more active fire conditions in the coming days.

Highway 108 remains closed between Eagle Meadow and the Tuolumne/Mono county line. The mandatory evacuation order remains from Eagle Meadow to Kennedy Meadows. The hope is to reopen the highway sometime next week, according to fire officials. Resources fighting the fire include 848 personnel, 16 hand crews, 5 helicopters, 46 engines, 3 dozers, 8 water tenders.

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