Evacuations Remain as Fire in Yosemite National Park Grows

The South Fork fire burning in Yosemite National Park has forced evacuations of nearby Wawona. (Yosemite National Park Fire Management)

Weather conditions are helping crews battling the South Fork Fire in Yosemite National Park that has forced the evacuation of the tiny California community of Wawona.

Raj Singh, a fire spokesman, said Monday the fire grew slightly overnight to a little under 5½ square miles. It remained 10 percent contained.

Singh said thunderstorms forecast for the fire zone did not materialize, but more thunderstorms that could fuel the blaze were expected.

Authorities ordered residents in and around Wawona to evacuate Saturday as flames came within 1½ square miles and air quality reached hazardous levels. The Mariposa County community has a population of 1,000 to 2,000 people at any given time.

Singh said the fire is burning toward a river that borders the community. He did not have an estimate on when residents might be allowed to return.

The park has issued an alert for visitors notifying them that the Wawona area is closed, including ½ Big Trees Lodge, but not the Wawona campground. Cal Fire is assisting the National Park Service with this incident.

Evacuations Remain as Fire in Yosemite National Park Grows 21 August,2017Bianca Hernandez

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