Rim fire near Yosemite out of control, threatens 2,500 structures
More than 400 firefighters were battling a wildfire Tuesday evening that was raging out of control near Yosemite National Park and threatening 2,500 structures, officials said.
The Rim fire had charred more than 10,000 acres of brush, oak and pine in the Stanislaus National Forest as flames raced across rugged terrain, the U.S. Forest Service said.
The massive blaze forced officials to shut down California 120 four miles west of Groveland Ranger Station and four miles east of Buck Meadows. No westbound traffic was being allowed out of Yosemite, fire officials said.
The fire more than doubled in size Monday night, fire officials said.
Yosemite National Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said earlier Tuesday that parkgoers who were headed to the San Francisco Bay Area could still leave on California 140, which she estimated adds about a half-hour to travel times.
“Depending on where you’re going, it doesn’t add a ton of time,” she said.
She said conditions were “a little smoky” by the park’s Big Oak Flat entrance, but that skies were clear in the Yosemite Valley.
On Tuesday evening, flames were threatening about 2,500 structures on the west fire flank along Feretti Road north of California 120.
Communities along Feretti Road were being evacuated Tuesday afternoon. Residents were also evacuated from the Buck Meadows area
At least two homes and five outbuildings have been destroyed, the Forest Service said.
The cause of the blaze, which broke out Saturday afternoon, was under investigation. No injuries had been reported.
Officials said a red flag warning, which indicates extreme fire danger, was in effect through Wednesday because of lightning in the area.
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