Wildfire outside Yosemite National Park prompts evacuations

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Evacuations were ordered for the community of Foresta as firefighters battled a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park on Saturday. ((Carol Yorkie))

Firefighters are battling a wildfire near Yosemite National Park that is threatening dozens of homes and cabins.

The fire started around 4:30 p.m. Saturday, north of El Portal in the Merced River Canyon. It's now burned 2,100 acres with zero containment.

Incident command staff members say structures have been lost, but they do not have a count of how many yet.

Images from the Turtleback Dome Webcam showed how quickly the fire spread from just a small plume of smoke to a massive black cloud in a matter of hours.

Evacuations have been ordered for about 45 homes in the Mariposa County community of Foresta and six homes outside the park.

There's no word yet on what sparked the fire, but we know it's burning in an area that's still recovering from another fire in 2009.

Authorities have set up evacuation shelters for those in the path of the fire: one is located at Tenaya Lodge (Mariposa side), and the other is at the Groveland Community Center.

Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass entrances. The Crane Flat Campground is closed.

Yosemite National Park is open. Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to the fire.

Related Topics:
firewildfireevacuationmariposa countyMariposaYosemite National Park
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