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September 1, 2013 | By Samantha Schaefer
The Rim fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park became the fourth-largest blaze in California history as it grew to 348 square miles Sunday, officials said. More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which began Aug. 17 and is 40% contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service. A September 1932 fire in Ventura County that burned 343 square miles previously held the fourth-place spot, Cal Fire said. San Diego's 427-square-mile Cedar fire, which destroyed more than 2,800 structures and killed 14 people in October 2003, remains the largest wildfire in state history.
August 31, 2013 | By Tony Barboza
GROVELAND, Calif. - As the Rim fire has burned into Yosemite National Park and into the record books, it has been watched around the world. From Washington, D.C., National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis said he monitored the blaze's progress daily as flames threatened Sierra Nevada communities, ancient sequoia groves and the reservoir that holds San Francisco's water supply. On Saturday, he went to see the blaze firsthand. "This is a gnarly fire," Jarvis told firefighters at a morning briefing.
August 25, 2013 | By Diana Marcum and Samantha Schaefer
GROVELAND, Calif. - On Day 9, the sweeping Rim fire reshaped lives and topography from pristine wilderness areas to a famed national park to mountain communities that could be in the direct line of fire, depending at any moment on which way the wind blew. In Groveland, Abby Esteres nervously puffed on a cigarette Sunday morning after her first night back in her Pine Lake Mountain home. "I haven't been able to eat not knowing if our house burned down or not," said the 27-year-old housekeeper, who went through a week of evacuation.
August 23, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
The out-of-control Rim fire has crossed into Yosemite National Park, but the fire line is far from the pristine valley popular with tourists and campers, officials said Friday. The fire exploded in size overnight Thursday, and moved into the park after scorching more than 105,000 acres in the Stanislaus National Forest, authorities said. Because the fire is confined to the park's more remote northwestern section, though, campers in the Yosemite Valley have been largely unaffected, park ranger and spokesman Scott Gediman said.
August 23, 2013 | By Jill Cowan and Robert J. Lopez
The Rim fire near Yosemite National Park has grown to 105,620 acres -- or roughly 165 square miles -- in its sixth day of burning largely out of control through steep, rugged terrain. Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday declared a state of emergency as the wildfire spread in two directions. Having already destroyed nine structures, the fire was just 2% contained as of Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The fire in the Stanislaus National Forest also brought additional evacuation orders from the  Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office as flames moved  west toward homes in Pine Mountain Lake and west toward Camp Mather, which is near the border of Yosemite.
August 22, 2013 | By Mary Forgione, Daily Deal and Travel Blogger
President Wilson on Aug. 25, 1916, created a National Park Service that would "... conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and wild life therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for future generations. " Ninety-seven years later, the system has grown to oversee more than 84 million acres of public lands. To mark Founders Day on Sunday, parks across the nation will waive entrance fees. The deal: In addition to free entrance, many parks have special free events planned too. --At Theodore Roosevelt National Park , the "president" will show up between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. local time at the South Unit Visitor Center in Medora, N.D. -- Arches National Park near Moab, Utah, will host events on culture and natural diversity all day at the park's visitor center.
August 10, 2013 | By Carla Rivera
A body was recovered in the Mineral King area of Sequoia National Park on Saturday near where search crews have been combing the rugged terrain for a missing hiker. The body was found about 1,000 feet above Monarch Lake, just below a portion of the Sawtooth Trail, according to National Park Service spokesman Matt Fagan. Authorities temporarily suspended the search for missing hiker Johnnie Jean Daniel pending identification of the body. Daniel, 65, of San Rafael, was reported missing Thursday by a family member after Daniel failed to return from a hike.
August 10, 2013 | By David Zucchino
CHEROKEE, N.C. - The first thing National Park Service Ranger Lamon Brown noticed was an illegal campsite, littered with food wrappers and marked by a smoldering fire ring. Then the ranger spotted two figures skulking out of the dense forest near Andrews Bald in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Their hands were filthy. Their clothes were muddy. One toted a bulging backpack. These were the Hurley boys, notorious for rustling wild ginseng roots, a federal crime in the park.
July 12, 2013 | By Paul Goff
We discovered the Ruin about 12 years ago when it was a small, abandoned stone house. We were hiking in Pioneertown's Pipes Canyon, and there it was, all by itself in a cove-like setting of boulders and desert plants and barely the remains of a road to get to it. We hiked back about a year after and the roof had been knocked in, or it had caved in after years of weather and neglect. A few months later, on another visit, we saw the western wall where the front door and window once stood were gone.
July 11, 2013 | By Ari Bloomekatz
A 65-year-old retired physicist and park volunteer with a passion for nature died this week when he tried to board a boat and fell, seriously injuring his head, officials said Thursday. Joe Wysocki began volunteering at Channel Islands National Park in the mid-1990s as a naturalist. Wysocki was "highly valued for his skills as an audio visual technician and camera operator for the park's distance learning program Channel Islands Live," officials said. Wysocki's fall was described as an accident that occurred Wednesday about 3:15 p.m. at Anacapa Island, where "Wysocki fell off the landing dock ladder as he was boarding the National Park Service (NPS)
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