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TRAVEL
September 15, 2013 | By Millie Ball
Memories of summer camp in the mountains of western North Carolina bring me back to a safe, sweet place. I can feel my face soften as I recall sitting with friends between two skinny trees, a breeze cooling our faces, canoeing in a lake and being lulled to sleep by sounds of a stream flowing over smooth rocks. Added to my childhood memories now are a lifetime of vacations within a couple of hours of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which lures 9.5 million visitors a year to its 814 square miles that straddle Tennessee and North Carolina.
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NATIONAL
September 8, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
A child has died from gunshot wounds at a campground in Yellowstone National Park, park officials said. The child's mother told emergency dispatchers that her daughter had shot herself with a handgun, park spokesman Al Nash said in a recorded statement. Park rangers arrived at the Grant Village Campground, where the fatal shooting took place Saturday, and an emergency medical team unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate the girl, Nash said. The name and age of the child were being withheld until extended family members could be notified, Nash said.
NATIONAL
September 8, 2013 | By Matt Hamilton
The National Park Service is investigating the fatal shooting of a 3-year-old Idaho girl at a Yellowstone National Park campground, officials said Sunday. The child's mother told emergency dispatchers that her daughter shot herself with a handgun, park officials said in a statement. Saturday's shooting occurred at the Grant Village Campground, where an emergency medical team tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate the girl, the statement said. Further information, including the girl's identity, will not be released until Monday at the request of the victim's family, park spokesman Al Nash told the Los Angeles Times.  No one had been shot to death in the park since 1978, he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Diana Marcum
GROVELAND, Calif.--Authorities said they will open the western section of California 120 into Yosemite National Park at noon Friday after closing it more than two weeks ago to fight the Rim fire. Visitors will have full access to Yosemite Valley from the park's western entrance from Groveland for the first time since the Rim fire broke out Aug. 17. Though a 14-mile stretch of the highway is closed within the park - from Crane Flat to White Wolf - the update was met with joy Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 2013 | By Joseph Serna and Diana Marcum
GROVELAND, Calif. - Authorities opened the western section of California 120 into Yosemite National Park on Friday, more than two weeks after closing the road to fight the fast-spreading Rim fire. Visitors will have full access to Yosemite Valley from the park's western entrance from Groveland for the first time since the Rim fire broke out Aug. 17. Though a 14-mile stretch of the highway is closed within the park - from Crane Flat to White Wolf - the update was met with joy Friday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
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.
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