. A wildfire burns next to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 7. As of Monday, the fire had burned through about four square miles but cooler weather was slowing its spread.
One of the evacuees was Rachael Kirk, 26, of Oakland, who took this photo. She said she and two friends had reached an outcropping about 400 feet below the summit when they saw the fire explode out of control.
"He said there was no way to land the helicopter except on top of Half Dome," Kirk said. "That was the moment everyone felt scared."
"One woman freaked out," she said. "They gave her a makeshift harness and helped her out on the cable."
Kirk said the climb and the airlift weren't something she wanted to repeat. "It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I don't think I'll do it again," she said.
. Hikers are evacuated from the top of Half Dome by helicopter Sunday.
. About 120 firefighters and 11 aircraft fought the blaze, which may have erupted from embers of a fire sparked by lightning several weeks ago, officials said. Firefighters had monitored and controlled that fire before winds and temperatures increased on Sunday.
-- The Associated Press