Caltrans — Ferguson Fire Scar Decision Matrix

The Ferguson Fire Decision Matrix or “PREPARE Plan” is a tool developed and co-piloted by Caltrans, The National Weather Service (NWS), and the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) to address and preemptively close State Route 140 in the Ferguson Fire Scar in Mariposa County, CA. Closures spanned approximately. The plan – which affected 17 miles of SR-140 west of Yosemite National Park – combined Caltrans’ highway knowledge with NWS’ up-to-the-minute weather forecasting and UFS’s land surveying skills e to create color-coded “risk level” determinations. If the risk level reached 3 or 4 (Red or Pink), Caltrans would quickly close the highway, post patrols to the area, then inspect the roadway one the weather passed before reopening it. This tool is helping ensure traveler safety by communicating updates regarding closures and openings for Yosemite National Park via electronic signs and Caltrans’ “QuickMap” platform. SR-140 closes two hours before the heaviest rain is expected. The $260,000 plan has been so successful that Caltrans and its partners are working to expand statewide by the winter of 2019-2020.