Park Service partly faults Yosemite for wildfire

Published: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 8, 2010 at 5:49 p.m.

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — The National Park Service says Yosemite officials were overconfident in their ability to manage a controlled burn last summer that whipped into an explosive wildfire.

The prescribed burn near the mountain town of Foresta last August was intended to eliminate tinder-dry vegetation that could cause a wildfire.

But the 90-acre burn jumped fire lines and ended up blackening more than 11.3 square miles, fed by the dry grass and dead trees the burn was supposed to safely devour.

In a report released Friday, the park service says the crews' "hubris of success" contributed to the problem.

In response, it says it will review and clarify national guidelines outlining the factors that crews should consider when rating the relative complexity of each controlled burn.

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