A colossal wildfire raging across the western edge of Yosemite National Park swept further into the park on Sunday and forced the evacuation of some its camps due to heavy smoke, according to a park spokesman.The blaze on Sunday had come within 3.2 kilometres of a key reservoir that supplies most of San Francisco’s water.The so-called Rim Fire, which has burned 54,000 hectares, caused the closure of the White Wolf area of the park on its western side, said Yosemite spokesman Tom Medema. Thirteen of 74 camps were occupied and evacuated, he said.
The flames had consumed 4,850 hectares within Yosemite, a park known for its waterfalls, giant sequoia groves and other scenic wonders, by Sunday afternoon, up from just over 5 hectares in the morning, he said.“There’s no eminent risk from the fire but the smoke impact is so heavy that we’re evacuating those areas,” Medema said.He did not know how many people were evacuated but said that one of the camps had 25 occupants.Officials said they have no plans to shut down the entire park or its top attractions.
The fire was threatening power and water supplies to San Francisco, about 320 km to the west. On Sunday, it moved to within 2 miles of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which serves 85 percent of San Francisco with water, according to San Francisco Public Utilities Commission spokesman Tyrone Jue.The fire had been 6.4 km from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir the day before.Jue said reservoir water remained clear on Sunday, despite threats of ash contamination.“There are strike teams and crews in place right now to assist with fire protection” near the reservoir, Jue said.
The fire also passed through two power structures that help supply San Francisco’s public facilities with electricity. Utility crews planned to make repairs on Sunday, Jue said.The utility commission has been drawing on power reserves and purchasing electricity since Monday due to the downed power structures.This is my favorite:government uses a vast search tool