Campers Flee Raging Wildfire at Yosemite Park

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August 21, 2013 by   Comments Off on Campers Flee Raging Wildfire at Yosemite Park

A destructive wildfire on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park on Tuesday (Aug. 20) threatened more than 2,000 structures, forced the evacuation of iconic Camp Mather and other campgrounds and remote rural homes and brought the shutdown of a main highway into the park.

About 200 senior citizens and a few dozen staffers were forced to evacuate from Camp Mather, which is owned and operated by the city of San Francisco as a public getaway for city families and was hosting a special week for the group, city parks officials said.

Several camps outside Yosemite have evacuated since the fire started Saturday in the Stanislaus National Forest.

In three days, the fire has destroyed two residences and five outbuildings, but some 2,500 houses, hotels and camp buildings were under threat, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jerry Snyder said.

The fire has surged to more than 15 square miles and was burning out of control in remote, steep, difficult-to-reach terrain with no containment lines. About 450 firefighters were working the blaze, along with water-dropping planes.

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