The impacts of a dry winter


The National Park Service announced December 18 that the section of the Generals Highway connecting Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park would close January 6 through April 15 since it would not be plowed when snow-covered. The thoroughfare remains open, however, since there is no snow to hinder travel. 

In fact, although usually a cross-country ski trail this time of year, the road to Crescent Meadow and Moro Rock is open to vehicles, and visitors even have access to Moro Rock’s summit.

It was also announced last month that hazard-reduction burn permits were available. Due to the dry conditions these days, a burn pile might create more hazards than it  reduces.

But Cal Fire reported that burning has instead not been allowed due to poor air quality, which is a result of no storms. High pressure over the region has caused air movement to stagnate. 

Air quality alerts have been issued on nearly a daily basis for the past week. In Three Rivers, air quality has been diminishing in the afternoons due to the reversal of air flow that at night comes down-canyon from the Sierra, but in the daytime blows up from the San Joaquin Valley. 

Humans aren’t the only ones impacted by a dry winter. Early Sunday morning, when crossing North Fork Bridge, there was a deer standing in the middle of the river, testimony to the complete lack of current in many areas of the Kaweah River’s main fork.

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