The closures at Yosemite National Park, including Yosemite Valley, will continue indefinitely, as rampant wildfires scorch key areas near the park during what is typically the busiest camping season of the year, the park announced.
An agent at National Park Reservations said late Monday that cancellations for park lodging would be automatic through Friday. Since the situation is so fluid, that may be extended soon. After that, the agent said, the seven-day cancellation policy may apply.
For information, call (866) 875-8456. The service handles such renowned park properties as the Majestic Yosemite Hotel (formerly the Ahwahnee) and Half Dome Village.
A park representative said that those with lodging reservations were being contacted.
Areas currently under a mandatory evacuation for residents and visitors include Yosemite Valley, Yosemite West and Foresta.
All Yosemite Valley campgrounds are closed until further notice.
Outside Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Creek, Wawona, Crane Flat, Hodgdon Meadow, Tamarack Flat are all closed.
Over the weekend, flames from the Ferguson fire, at more than 91,000 acres, almost double from last week, threatened access roads to Yosemite Valley, and road hazards and weather changes have made the fire extremely difficult to fight, the park service said. The fire is 38% contained, according to InciWeb.
A large part of Yosemite National Park remains open:
► On the east side of the park, Tioga Road from Tioga Pass to White Wolf is open to visitors and vehicles.
►Most trails and campgrounds on that stretch, including the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, are open.
►Visitor services remain open along Tioga Road, including the High Sierra Camps and the Tuolumne Meadows Store.
But some of the park’s most popular locations remain closed:
►El Portal Road
►Big Oak Flat Road
► Glacier Point
►Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias
►Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias
►Crane Flat Campground
► Tamarack Campground and several other sections of the park.
For updates, visit the park website.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, call (209) 372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again.
Also check out updated maps of the Ferguson fire.
As alternatives, park officials were directing visitors to nearby communities of Sonora, Groveland, Mariposa, Oakhurst and Lee Vining, which offer camping and lodging.
The Ferguson fire has raged west of Yosemite since July 13. At its closest point, the fire was two miles from the park.
Heavy smoke from the blaze has blanketed the valley and created air quality conditions worse than in Beijing, a spokesman said last week.