Yosemite National Park to close some areas due to fire

Yosemite National Park to close some areas due to fire

A Yosemite National Park official says at least a thousand campground and hotel reservations will be canceled after authorities made a decision to close Yosemite Valley to keep a growing forest fire at bay.

A Forest Service spokesman said the fire was relatively calm overnight as a heavy inversion layer kept fire activity to a minimum.

The South Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team said the 36,587-acre wildfire - which grew by about 3,000 acres since Monday - was 25 percent contained, almost double that of the day before.

Highway 140 has been closed since the fire began. The Rim Fire, one of California's largest, burned into portions of the national park and left behind terrain that is now far less likely to burn intensely, which gives firefighters a better chance to control the flames. One firefighter died the following day and six others have been injured.

The rough terrain is hard to access by road and is filled with thick, dry brush and heavy timber, which will make the fire hard to contain, officials said.

Ferguson Fire Red circles on this live-updating map are actively burning areas, as detected by satellite.

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There are now 3,311 personnel assigned to the fire, which includes 194 engines, 45 water tenders, 16 helicopters, 91 crews, and 52 bulldozers. Firefighters will be setting backfires in the park near Highway 41 as soon as Wednesday, Gediman said, which could cause that road to be blocked with equipment and flames. Officials said on Tuesday that the fire doubled in size to 2,101 acres but the park would remain open.

Mandatory evacuations are in place in several communities, while others have been told to get ready to leave if necessary. At that point, park rangers and fire crews will determine whether the area is safe enough to reopen.

Firefighters were unable to stop it from spreading into the Stanislaus Forest area. "Weather forecasts are calling for hotter and drier air throughout the week as conditions align for critical and extreme fire weather in the coming days", InciWeb, an inter-agency incident reporting site, said.

East side of Highway 49 South from Darrah Road to Harris Road, which includes Boyer Road, Woodland Area, Wass Road, Tip Top Road.

Officials announced they will close California 41 before Tunnel View, the road that goes north from Fresno into the heart of the park, at the height of summer tourist season.

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