Wildfire Shuts Down Parts of Yosemite National Park

Jul 16, 2018

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A wildfire that ignited in California on Friday is raging into Yosemite National Park during peak tourist season, officials said on Monday.

The deadly fire has burned 14 square miles of forest along the western edge of the park so far and has shut down a major access road into Yosemite. Park officials tweeted that Highway 140 was closed down, causing wait times to pile up on other entrance roads into the nature reserve.


The blaze also forced the evacuation of the Yosemite Cedar Lodge, a hotel on the park’s grounds. “You can’t see anything, it’s so smoky outside. It’s crazy,” front desk clerk Spencer Arebalo told USA Today. Officials in the area said that more mandatory evacuations would be on the way.

Park officials also warned visitors to be cautious of the smoke sweeping over Yosemite.


Pacific Gas and Electric announced it’s shutting down its power lines in the area, so there is no power at Yosemite, either. On Monday, hundreds of firefighters were dispatched to battle the blaze, which was only about 2% contained. One fatality — firefighter Braden Varney, 36 — occurred Saturday as a result of the fire.

The fire is “likely to burn for many days and may eventually become a major threat” to Yosemite, Daniel Swain, a climatologist with UCLA told USA Today.

Featured image courtesy Yosemite National Park via Twitter.

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