Crews were able to beat back a wildfire burning in Yosemite National Park in California on Tuesday, bringing containment up from 5 percent to 19 percent, officials said. A spokeswoman with the Yosemite Call Center told NBC News that progress was made on the south side of the fire near the in-park community of El Portal, and that evacuation orders had been lifted for the area.
The fire, which grew from about 2,600 acres to 3,060 overnight, was still threatening several homes in Foresta, where many of the park service employees live, officials said. At least one structure has been lost there, while 45 remain evacuated. Some 640 personnel from a myriad of agencies are fighting the blaze, which started Saturday afternoon. Four “hot-shot” crews, five strike teams, two bulldozers, six helicopters, eight air tankers and a DC-10 are all being used in the effort, officials said.
About 100 miles away, a fire in the Sierra Nevada foothills east of Sacramento was 80 percent contained and holding at a little under 6 square miles. Both fires grew rapidly over the weekend before they were brought under control, highlighting the bone-dry conditions resulting from California's third year of drought.
— Hasani Gittens
First published July 29 2014, 2:34 AM