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Yosemite Wildfire Prompts Utility Emergency For San Francisco

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS / AP) — As a massive wildfire burning into Yosemite National Park grew to nearly 200 square miles, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the city of San Francisco 150 miles away because of the threat to the city’s utilities.

The governor had already declared an emergency for the area around the fire but Friday night extended it to San Francisco, saying the blaze posed a threat to the city’s power lines and stations in the fire area.

The city gets 85 percent of its water from the Yosemite-area Hetch Hetchy reservoir and, that has yet to be affected.

But San Francisco has been forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area, and further disruptions or damage could have an effect on the power supply.

The city has so far been able to buy power on the open market and use existing supplies, but further disruptions or damage could have an effect, according to city power officials and the governor’s statement.

The declaration frees funding and resources to help the city and makes it eligible for more federal funds to help with power shortages and outages or water problems.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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