Calif. Wildfire Nearly Doubles In Size, Burns Into Yosemite Park | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

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Calif. Wildfire Nearly Doubles In Size, Burns Into Yosemite Park

A California wildfire burst into Yosemite National Park on Friday after growing to more than 105,620 acres, the U.S. Forest Service says. More than 2,000 firefighting personnel are working on the blaze known as the Rim Fire, which is only 2 percent contained.

From Thursday to Friday, the fire nearly doubled in size, growing from 99 square miles to about 165 square miles, the AP reports. A large portion of Highway 120, a main road in and out of Yosemite, remains shut down after being closed earlier this week, the Forest Service reported in its latest update this morning.

"Flames from the Rim Fire have also forced the evacuations of hundreds from homes," NPR member station KPCC reports. People visiting Yosemite are also fleeing.

The fire "is not threatening Yosemite Valley," reports NBC Bay Area News, citing a Forest Service spokesman, and "the park still remains open."

One injury has been reported as a result of the fire, which began on Aug. 17, the Forest Service says. So far, the fire has destroyed 16 structures and caused $5.4 million in damages; thousands more structures have been deemed to be at risk. California Gov. Jerry Brown declared an emergency situation Thursday.

According to the Forest Service, the fire is growing outward from the Stanislaus National Forest in two directions: easterly, toward Yosemite, and westerly, toward the residential Pine Mountain Lake. Elements of the fire are also headed in a northwest direction, officials say.

A new map of the fire was released Friday; you can also follow it on KPCC's "Fire Tracker" feature

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