Rim fire grows to nearly 400 square miles; containment still 80%
The size of the Rim fire burning into Yosemite National Park has increased to 254,685 acres, or 398 square miles, the U.S. Forest Service reported Tuesday.
The cost of battling the massive blaze has reached $100.4 million. It remains 80% contained, the Forest Service said.
Officials have said the fire was caused by a hunter who lost control of his campfire at Jawbone Ridge, a remote section of the Stanislaus National Forest north of the Tuolumne River. The wind-driven blaze exploded to tens of thousands of acres in the days after, chewing through decades-old brush and vegetation and threatening thousands of homes.
More than 110 buildings have been destroyed, including 11 homes and three businesses. A map of the blaze Tuesday morning showed fire activity on the blaze’s southeastern edge, where it pushed toward two groves of sequoias.
Fire crews on the ground Monday hustled to contain 15 spot fires that broke out past fire lines along Tioga Road in Yosemite, the Forest Service said.
On Monday night, crews were planning to set backfires -- intentionally igniting unburned fuel -- along a three-quarter-mile front to contain another spot fire burning in Yosemite, fire officials said.
A 14-mile stretch of California 120 inside the park remained closed Monday from Crane Flat to White Wolf.
More than 3,000 firefighters were battling the blaze. At its peak, more than 5,100 personnel were fighting the Rim fire.
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