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Yosemite fire: Weather expected to stay warm, dry

August 24, 2013|By Stephen Ceasar

Firefighters battling the massive Rim fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park can expect little help from the weather in coming days.

The somewhat dry and warm conditions should remain for a few days in the area engulfed by the wildfire, which has scorched more than 125,000 acres and has crept into the northwestern portion of one of the nation's most popular national parks.

The blaze, which is only 5% contained, has destroyed nine structures and threatens 4,500 more, according to a U.S. Forest Service update. Evacuation advisories remain in effect for Tuolumne City and nearby communities along the Highway 108 corridor.

No rain is expected and humidity levels, which have hovered recently between 20% and 25%, are expected to stay steady into next week, said Jim Mathews, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Sacramento. Increased humidity could help firefighting activities.

PHOTOS: Rim fire rages near Yosemite

Wind speeds are expected to rise to 25 mph to 35 mph at higher elevations Sunday and into Monday, as a low-pressure system moves over the area, possibly complicating firefighting efforts, Mathews said.

Warm temperatures should remain into next week, with highs in the 80s, he said.

The area may receive some reprieve with moisture possibly arriving from a tropical storm currently making its way up the coast of Baja California, Mexico, Mathews said.

“But right now our confidence is not extremely high in that case evolving,” he said.


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