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Rim Fire Nearly Contained, Hetch Hetchy Repairs May Take Months

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Smoke from the Rim Fire lingers over the O'Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on August 24, 2013 in Yosemite National Park. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Smoke from the Rim Fire lingers over the O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on August 24, 2013 in Yosemite National Park. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

BarbaraTaylor_KCBS_0001r Barbara Taylor
Barbara Taylor is the long time San Francisco City Hall Bureau Chief...
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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (KCBS) — The Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park is 84 percent contained Monday with full containment expected Friday, fire officials said. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission said it will take several months before the Hetch Hetchy water and power system is fully restored.

Since the wildfire started a month ago, the blaze has consumed more than 256,000 acres of oak, pine trees, and brush. The fire reached the edge of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, engulfed two of the three power stations and many transmission lines.

Officials said the Holm Powerhouse is still offline, but it should be operating again in a few days.

Spokesperson Tyrone Jue of the SFPUC said assessment and repairs are underway.

“Things are starting to return to a sense of normal. It’s going to be several months before we really are at normal because of the hazards on the roadways, the slope stabilizations will still need to occur,” Jue said.

The fire did not affect the purity of Hetch Hetchy water and officials are no longer concerned that it will.

“Based on the map where we’ve seen the impact of the fire on the Hetch Hetchy watershed, it’s less than one percent that was affected. We’re not anticipating much in the way of erosion affecting water quality,” said Jue.

The cost to repair the damage and purchase of replacement power is more than $30 million and counting, but the PUC said insurance that should cover the cost.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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