Smoke from Sierra fire reaches Yosemite Valley
More News from Associated Press
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK — Dense smoke from a wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park on Saturday hampered both suppression efforts and the prized views sought by holiday weekend tourists.
For the first time since the blaze broke out in a neighboring forest two weeks ago, smoke obscured Yosemite Valley, home to the California park’s most popular landmarks, spokeswoman Kari Cobb said.
“I’m in Yosemite Valley right now, and I cannot see the cliffs around me,” Cobb said.
“The wind has shifted and smoke is impacting the entire park. We have been lucky until now.”
All the campgrounds in the Valley were still full as of Saturday morning, despite the thick blanket and burning smell that permeated the area, she said.
As a health precaution, visitors were being asked to scale back their outdoor recreation plans and avoid strenuous activities or even stay indoors.
Meanwhile, firefighting aircraft remained grounded because of low visibility caused by the smoke, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Healey said.
The blaze had scorched 343 square miles (888 square kilometers) of brush, oaks and pines and 11 homes, as of Saturday.
Of that total, 94 square miles (243 square kilometers) of wilderness have burned in the northern section of Yosemite, up from 75 square miles (194 square kilometers) a day earlier.
Although containment efforts proceeded on a positive note overnight, officials were concerned Saturday about a 150-acre (60-hectare) spot fire that crossed a road and prompted an evacuation order for homes near the west entrance of Yosemite, Healey said.
Once planes and water-dropping helicopters were cleared to take off again, the worry lifted some along with the evacuation order.
“Air operations are going full-blast to bring this fire under control,” Healey said late Saturday afternoon.
Healey said fresh firefighters were being brought in to replace tired crews, but that officials did not plan to reduce the nearly 5,000 people assigned to the fire.
The blaze’s cause is under investigation.
Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:
Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of INQUIRER.net. We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94