Hot Weather Hinders Firefighting Efforts Near Yosemite

Wildfire has burned over 19 square miles


Inmate firefighters clear brush to create a fire break while battling the Ferguson Fire in unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif, on Monday, July 16, 2018. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)


MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — Hot and dry weather is hindering efforts to slow the growth of a wildfire near Yosemite National Park that killed a California firefighter.

The U.S. Forest Service said Tuesday the blaze roaring through dry brush and timber has scorched more than 19 square miles (49 square kilometers) in steep terrain on the park’s western edge. It’s just 5 percent contained.

Officials say temperatures have spiked to 95 degrees (35 degrees Celsius) and the same conditions are expected throughout the week.

The blaze in Mariposa County started Friday and the growing flames shut down a key route into the park at the peak of tourist season. It also led to mandatory evacuations in nearby communities.

Trails, campgrounds, restaurants and lodges at Yosemite National Park are open, though smoke from the wildfire is polluting the air and limiting visibility.

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