Detwiler Fire smoke spoils views for Yosemite National Park visitors

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From Half Dome to the famous tunnel view, the vibrant views of Yosemite are barely visible as smoke from the Detwiler Fire blocks the park's most famous spots. (KFSN)

This is the busiest time of year for Yosemite, but those who came to sight-see may not see much. Smoke from the Detwiler Fire is impacting the park by bringing hazy conditions and unhealthy air quality.

The vibrant views of Yosemite are barely visible as smoke from the Detwiler Fire blocks the park's most famous spots. Visitors are still coming from all over the world to snap a shot of the tunnel view, but it's not the sight they expected.

"That's why we came here," said Rob Zwick, who's visiting from Cincinnati. "We planned this for quite a while, and to see all this haze from the fire is disappointing."

The Detwiler Wire is about 50 miles from the Valley floor and is burning more than 70,000 acres and causing hundreds of people, including 50 park employees, to evacuate their homes.

"We have temporary housing set up in the park," Jaime Richards with the National Park Service said. "We do have employee housing in the park, and we have been able to accommodate most employees.

Video shows Half Dome disappearing behind the smoke. The fire also damaged a transmission line servicing the park on Tuesday. PG&E says the power is back up in the park, and they're continuing to eye the power lines closely.

"After we lost that transmission line due to fire the other day, we actually placed some mobile generators in the area in case those lines were threatened again," company rep Denny Boyles explained.

Park rangers say with the recent closures of Highway 49 and Highway 140, roads often filled with crowds are unusually quiet.

"We do have a little less visitation that normal," Richards said. "But visitors are still coming."

Visitors can expect the smoky air and hazy views as the blaze continues to burn, but those already at the park are making the best of it.

"Even seeing El Cap, even barely, is a sight to see," visitor Zach Johnson said.

The park is fully operating, and Highway 140 east of Mariposa to Yosemite is open to travelers.

If anyone has plans to come to Yosemite, park rangers ask visitors to keep in mind that there aren't as many employees working because of evacuations and to be patient.

Related Topics:
travelwildfireyosemite national parktravelYosemite National Park
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