Crews made progress containing a nearly week-old California wildfire that was threatening to char a renowned cluster of Sequoia trees in Yosemite National Park, officials said Friday. The 4,198 acre fire was 58 percent contained due to lesser winds, and the huge amount of resources dedicated to fighting the flames, including more than 1,300 personnel, according to the Yosemite National Park Service. Nearly $6 million has been spent in the effort to fight the blaze that was threatening natural treasures within the park, according to a statement from the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office. The 3,000-year-old Sequoias in Merced Grove were still endangered by the fire, but the threat had decreased significantly since earlier in the week, a fire official said.
Residents who had been evacuated from their homes for days in Old El Portal were able to return and those evacuated from Foresta could plan to return on Friday afternoon, according to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office. Three campgrounds within Yosemite were still under evacuation orders. The cause of the fire has not been determined, park officials said.
— Elisha Fieldstadt
First published August 1 2014, 2:54 PM