FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - Nearly a third of the huge forest fire burning in and around Yosemite National Park was contained Friday and some small communities in the mountainous area were no longer under evacuation advisories, but smoke descending down into San Joaquin Valley cities was becoming a problem.
Nearly 5,000 firefighters were battling the blaze, but in a sign of progress some were expected to be released to go home, said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
“We continue to gain the upper hand, but there's still a lot of work to be done,” he said.
The 2-week-old blaze burning in the
Winds had been blowing dense smoke plumes northeast into the Lake Tahoe area and Nevada but a shift Friday brought them west down to the San Joaquin Valley floor.
Regional air pollution control authorities issued a health caution for
Evacuation advisories were lifted Thursday in
About 75 square miles of the fire are inside
Park officials expect about 3,000 cars a day to pass through gates during the long Labor Day holiday weekend instead of the nearly 5,000 that might typically show. The fire has caused some people to cancel reservations in the park but those vacancies have been quickly filled, officials said.
“Valley campgrounds are still full and skies in
A 4-mile stretch of State Route 120, one of three western entrances into
Costs reached $47 million, including firefighters from 41 states and the
The fire started Aug. 17 and its cause remains under investigation. It is expected to keep burning long after it is fully contained, and recovery will be extensive. Some 7,000 damaged trees next to power lines will need to be removed by utility crews and 800 guardrail posts will need to be replaced on Route 120, a fire fact sheet said.