More Tourists Ordered Out of Yosemite as Wildfires Spread
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Hundreds of tourists were ordered out of Yosemite by noon on Wednesday as a massive wildfire continued to grow and rip through the heart of the national park.
Yosemite Valley, an area in the heart of the park known for landmarks like El Capitan and popular with tourists, will be closed until at least Sunday, park officials said. The valley has been obscured under a haze of smoke from the fires, wrapping its sweeping mountain and waterfall views in layers of dangerous fog.
At least one thousand campground reservations and hotel bookings have been canceled due to the blaze. Tourists already camping in the park got individual visits from park rangers, informing them of the mandatory evacuation order, while hotel guests got calls and notes on their doors ordering them out for their own safety.
“This is the prime visitor season, so this wasn’t an easy decision to make,” Yosemite Spokesman Scott Gediman told the AP. “This was purely for safety’s sake.”
Although Yosemite isn’t under direct imminent danger due to the wildfire, dubbed the Ferguson Fire, the evacuations will allow for firefighters to preemptively burn brush and perform other proactive measures without needing to worry about visitors’ safety.
More than 3,300 firefighters and 16 helicopters have been battling the blaze, which has been burning for nearly two weeks. It so far has scorched 57 miles of wooded area and has killed one firefighter as it tears through Sierra Nevada. The fire had previously encroached on Yosemite’s outer edge, forcing small scale evacuations there.
Yosemite Park gets about 4 million visitors per year. Park officials are helping evacuated tourists find other options to visit, like Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, which are south of Yosemite.
“There are wonderful places to visit in the region,” Gediman said. “So we’re asking people to consider alternative plans.”
Featured image by NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at US restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees