700 residents allowed back to homes near Yosemite-area wildfire

Carstens fire near Yosemite
Large plumes of smoke from the Carstens fire block the sun in the Sierra National Forest. The blaze had burned more than 1,800 acres and was 40% contained Tuesday night.
(Christopher Winterfeldt / Associated Press)

About 700 residents were being allowed back to their homes Tuesday night as firefighters made progress battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park. 

The Carstens fire had burned more than 1,800 acres and was 40% contained Tuesday night, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

The fire was sparked by a campfire, according to agency officials. 

The blaze was still threatening about 500 structures, but residents with identification were being allowed back into the Lushmeadow area, the agency said.


Evacuation orders were still in effect for areas including Hites Cove, Jerseydale, Mariposa Pines and Clarks Valley.

The blaze broke out Sunday in the Midpines area of Mariposa County near Carstens Road and State Route 140, the primary roadway to Yosemite.

More than 1,200 firefighters were battling the blaze and were able to cut hand lines and bulldozer lines around the north perimeter, fire officials said.

Crews on the ground were assisted during the day by eight water-dropping helicopters. One firefighter sustained a minor injury.


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