Monday, August 26, 2013

Rim fire: Small gains reported in Day 10 of blaze near Yosemite

Diana Marcum and Samantha Schaefer in the Los Angeles Times: The Rim fire, which continues to scorch the Stanislaus National Forest near Yosemite National Park, is now 15% contained, officials reported Monday.

The fire, which according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has burned 149,780 acres, had been just 7% contained Sunday night as thousands of firefighters worked to divert the blaze away from entire communities.

Over the weekend near Tuolumne City, firefighters dug trenches, cleared brush, laid heavy water hoses and started backfires to try to divert the blaze around the town, as they had earlier in Groveland.

Nine structures have been destroyed so far, and thousands more are threatened, including 1,600 homes in Tuolumne City at the northwestern edge of the fire, officials said. Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills, home to about 2,000 people, were under voluntary evacuation orders. Parts of Groveland were evacuated Friday.

At more than 230 square miles, the Rim fire is one of the largest in California’s history. The fight to slow its pace is now in its 10th day....

California Army National Guard’s 1–140th Aviation Battalion at the Rim Fire near Yosemite, Aug. 22, 2013. Photo by Master Sgt. Julie Avey, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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