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Ferguson fire will keep popular parts of Yosemite closed through Aug. 3

Closures in the most popular parts of Yosemite National Park have been extended at least through Aug. 3, park officials announced Friday. That’s bad news for visitors who had plans to visit during one of the park’s busiest seasons.

Operations to fight the Ferguson fire burning to the southwest and outside the park in Sierra National Forest will continue to tie up roads near the South Entrance.

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Yosemite Valley is expected to reopen at 4 p.m. Aug. 3. Visitor services such as campgrounds, lodging and food service will be limited, a statement said.

California 41 from the South Entrance to the famed Tunnel View, the Wawona area and the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias in the southern part of the park will remain closed indefinitely because of firefighting operations.

The closures started noon Wednesday and haven’t reopened to visitors since then. Officials at that time said people with lodging reservations would be notified and either rebooked or given a refund.

Recreation.gov, which handles many campground reservations, was giving refunds to campers affected by the fallout of the fire.

So what is open in Yosemite? The eastern side of the park, which includes the Tioga Pass Entrance, the Hetch Hetchy area, Tuolumne Meadows and the back country as well as High Sierra Camps.

The Ferguson fire started July 13. As of late Friday, the fire had burned more than 46,000 acres and claimed the life of one firefighter. It is 29% contained.

Check out Yosemite National Park’s website for updates.

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