Railroad Fire continues to restrict access to and from Yosemite National Park

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While crews work to get a handle on the Railroad Fire, Highway 41 remains closed in both directions from Cedar Valley to Yosemite National Park. (KFSN)

Skies across foothill communities like Oakhurst remain hazy thanks to nearby wildfires that continue to scorch thousands of acres. While crews work to get a handle on the Railroad Fire, Highway 41 remains closed in both directions from Cedar Valley to Yosemite National Park.

"With the fire activity being as unpredictable as it tends to be it will remain closed up until this weekend," said Sam Yniguez with Caltrans.

The smoky haze did not faze Paw Joensson nor did the detour-- he and his wife are visiting Yosemite from Denmark.

"Drive through beautiful country with a lot of beautiful sights. So much different than Denmark-- flat as a pancake so we enjoy it."

Tourists stopping by the Yosemite Visitors Bureau are being advised to enter the National Park through Mariposa.

Rhonda Salibury, with the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, said, "It's about 10 minutes to go Highway 140 than to go up 41, and it's a beautiful drive. We send people on 41 then back out 140 so they get that full circle."

Tree mortality continues to be a safety risk for fire personnel along Highway 41. Crews are cutting down dead trees near Sugar Pine while the roadway remains closed to traffic.

"We've spent the last four days taking trees down and we're up to about 250 trees now," said Yniguez. "With the back fires they were doing to try to battle the fire, you add the bark beetle infestation combine with the drought-- those trees needed to come down anyway."

Besides the road closure many foothill residents are dealing with poor air quality as a result of the wildfires. Yosemite High released students early Wednesday because of the smoky haze.

Related Topics:
trafficroad closurehighwaysyosemite national parkYosemite National Park
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