YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Yosemite fire 'very active'; high temperatures hamper firefighters

August 31, 2013|By Tony Barboza and Ari Bloomekatz

TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. -- Officials reported Saturday that the Rim fire has burned 219,000 acres in and around Yosemite National Park as hot conditions posed new challenges for firefighters.

The fire -- the fifth largest in state history -- is now 35% contained.

Officials said the fire was "very active" in some places overnight and that aircraft would he used again Saturday to make water drops.

More than 4,900 firefighters were battling the fire on Friday, while the cost of the operation has ballooned to $47 million. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Earlier in the week, firefighters began to get an upper hand on the blaze.

But warming conditions hampered the fight on Friday.

There were still active parts of the fire at the northern perimeter near Tuolumne City. "It's still giving us some angst," said Gary Wuchner, an information and education specialist with the park.

Temperatures hovered in the high 80s on Friday, with winds at 15 mph from the west and humidity at 21%.

"We're seeing fuels that are drier than the kiln dry wood you buy at the hardware store," Wuchner said.

Mandatory evacuations continue to remain in effect south of California 120 on the southeastern edge of the fire and toward Yosemite. Evacuation advisories in Tuolumne City, Soulsbyville and Willow Springs were lifted Friday, however.

There are also a number of partial and full road closures, including parts of Big Oak Flat Road, Tioga Road, Old Coulterville Road, all of Hetch Hetchy Road and an array of wilderness trails.

Meanwhile, smoke, not just flames, is also becoming an increasing concern throughout the region.

The National Park Service on its website Friday said "the smoke has mostly remained north of Yosemite Valley, but changing winds have brought some haze and smoke to Yosemite Valley."


Gloria Allred has resignation 'gifts' for Bob Filner

Porn actress' positive HIV test spurs state investigation

Matt Romney, Mitt's son, decides not to run for mayor of San Diego

Los Angeles Times Articles