Wildfire Frequently Asked Questions

There's a wildfire in the Yosemite area, should I cancel my reservation?
It is unusual for California wildfires to result in damage to tourism infrastructure - leaving the visitor experience largely intact. However, before traveling, research your itinerary. You may need to reroute your trip or consider alternate activities when you are here. Air-quality is another concern when wildfires are active. While Tenaya makes every effort to provide guests with real-time updates through our communications channels including email, social media and the website, it is advisable to consult air-quality and weather forecasts. Area webcams through NPS, Sierra News and Tenaya's website are also helpful resources and provide current pictures of how smoke may be affecting the region.

Is it safe to travel to Tenaya Lodge when a wildfire is nearby?
The safety of our guests and employees is always our top priority at Tenaya Lodge. During wildfires, the resort team works closely with local authorities to stay informed so that we can determine safety protocols and travel recommendations in real-time based on proximity to the fire, air quality, weather forecast and other factors.

If Yosemite National Park is closed due to fire, what else is there to do?
Yosemite's south gate region offers a wide range of activities that are outside of the national park including recreation at Bass Lake, mountain biking, wine tasting, historic museums, quaint local towns and more. Visit Yosemite Madera County is a great resource for ideas on things to do and places to go.

How do wildfires happen in Yosemite?
Fires can start from natural causes such as lightning strikes or manmade causes including arson or carelessness. Fires play a critical role in the lifecycle of a forest, naturally reseeding trees, diversifying the landscape and supporting new plant and wildlife that depend on burned areas to regenerate and thrive. The National Park Service has a Wildland Fire Management Program that is designed to protect life, property, and natural and cultural resources, while ensuring the continuation of fire as a natural process.

How prepared is the resort for a wildfire?
Fires are not uncommon in forest areas since they are a natural part of a healthy and sustainable ecosystem. Many of our staff members have lived and worked in the area for years and have experienced fires in the past. The resort has an emergency action plan that associates follow and have successfully navigated when incidents have occurred in the past.

How does the resort respond when wildfires occur?
Many times, resort activities can continue to occur as normal without interruption despite a wildfire in the area. Factors such as poor air-quality and proximity of the fire can result in certain amenities and activities being temporarily closed or, as a last resort, temporary evacuation.

How does Tenaya support the community during a wildfire?
Tenaya Lodge proudly supports first responders by serving as a home base and providing rooms, meals and other aid to fire fighters and emergency personnel. Tenaya Lodge is also proud to be part of the solution on an on-going basis, not only taking forest fire prevention seriously, but also staffing the emergency response team at Fish Camp's fire station, Company 33.

How can visitors help protect the forest from wildfire?
Visitors can do their part by practicing extreme caution during dry conditions and following all laws regarding open fires, as well as having an emergency plan and following any evacuation orders.

How does fire help maintain a healthy forest ecosystem?
Fire helps reduce dead vegetation, stimulate new growth and improve habitat for wildlife. Without fire, white fir trees would grow unchecked and climb into crowns of giant sequoia trees and act as ladders for fire. Regular fires help to control the growth of white fir trees, which ultimately protects the giant sequoia groves that so many visitors come to see and appreciate. Willow, aspen, and birch are types of trees that sprout from their roots after a fire. Other trees require fire to release seeds to reproduce. Natural landscapes like a ponderosa pine forest become more open after a fire, creating conditions that ensure the success of the next generation of pines.

Is there somewhere I can donate?
If you'd like to donate, please visit the Yosemite Conservancy website at https://yosemite.org/