Ferguson Fire smoke forces changes in dream trip to Yosemite

OAKHURST, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Ferguson Fire has been disappointing for many.

Businesses have suffered as vacationers canceled their trips.

Tourists have given up on life-long goals to see Yosemite National Park.

But in Oakhurst, we found one family who came from halfway around the world and they are trying to make the most of it.

Action News met up with the Ramchandali family as tour guide Ram Grnani picked them up from the Airbnb where they have been staying.

The family came all the way from Dubai, more than 8,000 miles away, to see Yosemite National Park.

It was dad, Purshotam Ramchandali's dream, "Yosemite has been something I have been aspiring to come to for almost ten years now, since I first heard about it, and this was going to be one trip where I was going to take a holiday, and the kids would be content as well."

The vacation for dad, mom, their two kids and two friends has nott worked out as planned.

Mom, Asha explains, "Definitely we are gutted. We were very excited to visit the Yosemite Valley and see blue skies and the night skies."

But the skies and the views of the iconic Yosemite Valley are mostly obscured by smoke from the Ferguson Fire.

RELATED: Yosemite Valley to remain closed until Friday, August 3

Their guide, Ram, plans to show them what he can in the Sierra National Forest adjacent to the park.

Dad says it will have to do, "So we at least get to see some trees and some nature, which is what we came here for."

For business owners like Ram, the fire is forcing lots of compromises with visitors who just can not reschedule.

"Tomorrow we have a group coming; they are coming from Australia, they are coming by helicopter, and they are landing in Groveland. So we are going to take them to the high country, we are going to take them to Tuolumne Meadows.

The Madera County Visit Yosemite visitors bureau is also scrambling to help visitors salvage their long-planned trips.
Executive Director Rhonda Salisbury says, "We are just trying to relocate them, so their vacation is not totally ruined."

For the Ramchandali's it's been a bit disappointing, but, she says;

"We have the friends here and a lovely place in Oakhurst so we are going to make the most of what we can."
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.