The massive Rim fire in and around Yosemite National Park remains 80% contained after growing in size over the weekend.
Firefighters on Monday face hot, extremely dry conditions that, combined with shifting winds and low humidity, can make for “active fire behavior,” according to the U.S. Forest Service.
The Rim fire — the third-largest fire in California history — has so far cost $96.2 million to fight after erupting in the Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17. It has destroyed 11 homes and 97 outbuildings, according to the Forest Service.
On Monday, there were more than 3,100 personnel assigned to the blaze.
Officials said they expected the Rim fire — started by a hunter who lost control of his campfire — to intensify as flames burn through remaining vegetation within its interior.
Authorities opened the western section of California 120 into Yosemite National Park on Friday, giving visitors full access to Yosemite Valley from the park's western entrance from Groveland for the first time since the Rim fire broke out.
A 14-mile stretch of the highway remained closed within the park, from Crane Flat to White Wolf.
The top priority for firefighters was containing spot fires, particularly along Tioga Road, according to an incident update from the Forest Service. Firefighters also planned to monitor the site of a four-acre blaze near Long Barn that was fully contained Sunday.
Cal Fire crews have shored up heavy defenses along the Rim fire's northern and western faces, from Pinecrest to Groveland, eliminating the threat to thousands of homes.
Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times