Highway Opened, Evacuations Lifted Amid Fire Near Yosemite

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A fire burning in rugged terrain engulfs a roadway near Yosemite National Park on Thursday, August 15, 2011. (CBS Viewer)

A fire burning in rugged terrain engulfs a roadway near Yosemite National Park on Thursday, August 15, 2011. (CBS Viewer)

YOSEMITE (CBS/AP) – The Forest Service says a fire burning outside of Yosemite National Park is now 50-percent contained after officials brought in more manpower to fight the blaze.

The progress allowed authorities to reopen a stretch of Highway 140 early Tuesday morning, clearing the western gateway to Yosemite. They’ve also lifted all evacuation orders, including Rancheria, a community of 70 homes for Yosemite employees.

Crews got some extra help Monday with the arrival of an additional 400 firefighters to join the 800 already there to fortify the eastern flank.

Fire officials say no structures have been lost.

The blaze started last week when a motor home caught fire. Since then, it has blackened more than 5,200 acres—or 8.1 square miles — on both sides of Highway 140 in the scenic Merced River Canyon.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

 

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