YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK (CBS SF) — Park officials announced Sunday that Yosemite Valley and other sections of the popular tourist destination will remained closed indefinitely as firefighters continue to battle the Ferguson Fire.
The fire, which has been burning for 24 days, had grown to 89,633 acres with 35% containment on Sunday. There have been two fatalities and 11 injuries to date and 10 structures have been destroyed.
The following areas that remain closed were — Yosemite Valley, El Portal Road, Wawona Road, Big Oak Flat Road, Glacier Point, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, Wawona Campground, Crane Flat Campground, Tamarack Campground, and several other sections of the Park.
Elsewhere, a large portion of the park was open. Park officials said Tioga Road from Tioga Pass to White Wolf was open Sunday to all visitors and vehicles. Most of the trails and campgrounds along the route, including the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, were open.
Over the past 48 hours, park officials said, the fire had impacted all of the roads used to access Yosemite Valley, burning dead and downed trees that can become very explosive and fall without warning.
There was also significant terrain hazards for firefighters.
“These hazards, along with extreme fire behavior and frequent weather changes, have made this an extremely difficult fire fight,” park officials said in a release.
Fire officials said there was active fire burning above the Arch Rock Entrance Station, moving up the Merced River Canyon towards West Yosemite Valley. There was also active fire burning near Foresta and structure protection was currently in place.
Fortunately, no structures have been lost in the communities of Foresta, El Portal, or Yosemite West.
Earlier this week, fire crossed the Wawona Road, following the Indian Creek drainage. This fire has crossed Glacier Point Road, forced firefighters to shelter in place at Badger Pass. To learn more about current fire progression, visit https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/map/5927/.
For updated 24-hour road and weather conditions for Yosemite National Park, please call 209-372-0200, press 1 and press 1 again. Updated information is also available on the park’s website at http://www.nps.gov/yose and on the Yosemite National Park Facebook page.