Rim fire: Small gains reported in Day 10 of blaze near Yosemite

The Rim fire, which continues to scorch the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite National Park, is now 15% contained, officials reported Monday.

The fire, which according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has burned 149,780 acres, had been just 7% contained Sunday night as thousands of firefighters worked to divert the blaze away from entire communities.

Over the weekend near Tuolumne City, firefighters dug trenches, cleared brush, laid heavy water hoses and started backfires to try to divert the blaze around the town, as they had earlier in Groveland.

Nine structures have been destroyed so far, and thousands more are threatened, including 1,600 homes in Tuolumne City at the northwestern edge of the fire, officials said.


Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills, home to about 2,000 people, were under voluntary evacuation orders. Parts of Groveland were evacuated Friday.

At more than 230 square miles, the Rim fire is one of the largest in California’s history. The fight to slow its pace is now in its 10th day.

On Friday, Gov. Jerry Brown extended a state of emergency to include the county and city of San Francisco. At the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission had to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations because of the fire.

The entrance to Yosemite National Park from California 120, the Hodgdon Meadow campground and the Hetch Hetchy backpackers’ campground remained closed Sunday. But popular areas in the park such as Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows were open.


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Twitter: @DianaMarcum