Heart of Yosemite to Close as Crews Battle Raging Wildfire

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It wasn't clear whether he had an attorney.

The order for additional evacuations came as firefighters managed to contain about 25 percent of the fire, which grew by 727 acres overnight to a total of 38,522 acres. The fire remains out of control.

"Get yourself out of here if you can", said Michael Reynolds, the Yosemite National Park superintendent, on Tuesday.

The fire is one of several across California amid a statewide heat wave. Fire engines were also stationed to protect homes.

Homes are burning near a Southern California mountain town where a wildfire is growing out of control in brush and trees amid sweltering temperatures. No injuries were reported.

"People are heartbroken", she said.

In the San Francisco Bay Area at least two homes have burned in a fast-moving wildfire in Clayton.

Firefighters battle the Ferguson fire on Sunday in Jerseydale, California.

Authorities said it was threatening an estimated 600 homes.

California Highway Patrol Officer Darren Meyer says witnesses called 911 reporting a suspicious vehicle near the site the blaze began Wednesday in Riverside County.

The blaze erupted Wednesday and quickly turned into a wall of flame that torched timber and dry brush.

Evacuation center: New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road, Mariposa.

Elsewhere on the fire, firefighters worked to complete a containment line from the Merced River north along Montgomery Ridge to tie into the area previously burned by the 2013 Rim Fire. Authorities say multiple structures are threatened.

Yosemite fire news
Yosemite fire news Smoke from the Ferguson fire hangs over the Yosemite View Lodge

"I'm a fan of national parks and everything and I've heard about Yosemite a lot and I looked it up and it was fantastic", Rodriguez says.

"Very disappointed", Lisa Salgado said. Another guest had to delay plans to climb Half Dome.

The wildfire has also impacted businesses that rely heavily on tourism.

"Basically all the smoke is funneling into that valley and being held down by the inversion layer", U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jim Mackensen said, referring to the atmospheric condition that prevents warmer air and smoke from rising.

Why are officials asking people to evacuate?

The fire in the San Bernardino National Forest sent up a cloud 50,000 feet high that was so enormous it created its own weather in the form of lightning, the National Weather Service reported.

Yosemite National Park closure: Yosemite National Park officials enacted closures today for the Yosemite Valley and Wawona areas, as well as the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.

Which parts of the park will be closed and for how long? Hites Cove/Jerseydale Road, Foresta Road, Anderson Valley Road and Old Yosemite Road. The glacial valley has been enveloped by a choking haze of smoke from the Ferguson Fire.

The fire is burning in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park.

Ferguson Fire map as of July 25, 2018.

In the north, new evacuations were expanded to about 2,200 people in the wilderness recreation region near Redding that included Shasta and its historic former courthouse and ruins of brick buildings that make up Shasta State Historic Park.

All visitors were forced to leave the park by Wednesday at noon.

Officials clarified Yosemite wasn't in danger from the fire, but crews needed to safeguard the area without having to deal with the traffic from millions of visitors.

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