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California Water Science Center Takes Action to Mitigate Impacts of Rim Fire on Data Collection

Released: 9/13/2013

UPDATE: As of September 14, 2013, all USGS streamgages damaged or destroyed by the Yosemite Rim Fire were reported as repaired and fully operational. This would not have been possible without the swift and thorough efforts of our field crews. See current, live data from all USGS streamgage stations here.

One USGS streamgage has been destroyed, two others have been damaged and nearly a dozen others have been threatened since the first flames of Rim Fire - now the third largest wildfire in California history - began burning in and around Yosemite National Park in August.

Burn area in Stanislaus National Forest

Burn area in Stanislaus National Forest

Working with the U.S. Forest Service to ensure safe access to burn areas earlier this week, California Water Science Center field crews successfully rebuilt the first destroyed gage, located along the Tuolumne River in the Stanislaus National Forest in Tuolumne County. Field crews began surveying and making repairs to other damaged gages this week. Crews are working swiftly to repair all affected gages by the end of the week, in order to minimize the interruption of real-time, continuous data collection.

Data from streamgages are essential for a wide variety of uses, including decision making related to water supply, hydropower, flood control, forecasting floods and droughts, water quality, environmental and watershed management, research, navigation, fishing, and water based recreation.

Scientists from the USGS California Water Science Center are also actively working with the California Department of Water and Power, the California State Water Resources Control Board, NOAA, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, and other agencies to discuss actions required to address Hetch Hetchy Reservoir water-quality, water sedimentation, and debris flow threats resulting from effects of the Yosemite area Rim Fire.

For more information, contact Laurel Rogers (619) 980-6527 or

Links and contacts within this release are valid at the time of publication.


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