Visitors continue to go to Yosemite while South Fork Fire continues to burn near Wawona

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Yosemite National Park is still bringing in visitors from all over the world to take a look at its famous views, but there is one view many did not plan on seeing. (KFSN)

Yosemite National Park is still bringing in visitors from all over the world to take a look at its famous views, but there is one view many did not plan on seeing.

"We just happen to look out and see the big plumes of smoke and it kinda got us worried," said Laura Spomer, Yosemite visitor.

The South Fork fire is burning more than 1,600 acres close to the Wawona area.

Scott Gediman, with the National Park, said along with about 150 firefighters, they also have several air units dropping retardant.

"We've ordered more resources, what we call them-- so basically more helicopters will come in, more planes will come in."

The sounds of nearby aircraft are what Lisa Bongiovanni and her friends have heard often since they arrived last Saturday-- which was just a day before the fire started. They are staying in Wawona, but were told to be ready to leave at a moment's notice.

"We had a ranger stop by and let us know that we needed to be prepared in case of evacuation, keep with us the important documents and belongings."

Gediman said they went into full suppression mode because of how close the fire is to the small community. They have an incident command team coming in to help.

There are some challenges fire crews are still facing, like steep terrain and dead trees.

"The Ponderosa Pine has been most affected by the Bark Beetle, so those dead and down trees are adding the fuel load which lead to the intensity of the fire," said Gediman.

Gediman said the park is still open and hotels are still taking in guests, and visitors say smoke is not enough to keep them away.

"The fire doesn't impact us, we still love the area," said Spomer.

Park officials said the Wawona Campground will close so firefighters can set up their command post.

Related Topics:
wildfiremariposa countyyosemite national parkMariposa CountyYosemite National Park
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