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Yosemite Fire Not Contained: Homes Destroyed, 2,500 More Under Threat

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A fire is raging in Yosemite National Park, threatening more than 2,000 structures.

It has forced the evacuation of camps and remote rural homes and shutdown a main highway into the park.

Over the course of three days, the fire has destroyed two residences and five outbuildings. A further 2,500 houses, hotels, and camp buildings are under threat, US Forest Service spokesman Jerry Snyder said.

Most of the properties were in Groveland, a community of about 3,500 people. It has not yet been evacuated.

The fire now covers more than 15 square miles and was burning out of control in remote, steep, difficult-to-reach terrain with no containment lines. Some 450 firefighters were working to control the blaze. They were supported by water-dropping planes.

About 200 senior citizens and some workers were forced to evacuate from Camp Mather. It 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.

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

The fire has also forced several dozen people to leave the tiny community of Buck Meadows.

State Route 120 was closed off in both directions for a 4-mile stretch, blocking traffic in and out of Yosemite on its west side. However, the park remained open to visitors from State Route 140 and State Route 4.

The cause of this Yosemite fire is under investigation.

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3 Responses to “Yosemite Fire Not Contained: Homes Destroyed, 2,500 More Under Threat”

  1. Sharon A. Fox

    The fire near Yosemite is raging out of control very close to Hazel Green which used to be the last stagecoach stop before Yosemite and is located less than 500 feet from Yosemite. It used to be owned by my family. If Hazel Green goes up in smoke, authorities might want to investigate whether Hazel Green's most recent owner, developer, Lewis Geyser, had anything to do with starting the fire. If he has a large insurance policy on Hazel Green, Geyser would have the most to gain from this fire. For years Lewis Geyser spent a fortune and lost a fortune in lawsuits trying to get the greenlight to build 500 feet of road from Yosemite to Hazel Green so he could build an upscale resort right outside of the national park. Last year Lewis Geyser and his Hazel Green Ranch LLC was stopped dead in its tracks when attorneys at Earthjustice represented the environmental groups Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, and the Natural Resources Defense Council, who joined the National Park Service via a lawsuit and defeated Geyser's attempt to build any road. Because of Earthjustice's efforts, Geyser's investment in Hazel Green and all of the attorney's fees have probably left Hazel Green Ranch LLC in the RED. A fire "BLACKENING" Hazel Green's 83 acres could conveniently put Hazel Green Ranch LLC back in the BLACK. It is amazing how many times a fire has easily solved a greedy man's dilemma.