Tourists flee huge fire near Yosemite

2013-08-23 20:42
A view of soaring rock formations overlooking tourist-filled Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. (AFP, File)

A view of soaring rock formations overlooking tourist-filled Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park. (AFP, File)

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Fresno - A Northern California wildfire grew overnight to more than three times the size of the city of San Francisco as it spread inside the border of Yosemite National Park.

The out-of-control flames have caused tourists to flee and forced the evacuations of hundreds from homes.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesprson Daniel Berlant said on Friday the blaze had grown to more than 427km² and was only 2% contained.

Berlant said the fire threatens about 4 500 residences.

While Yosemite remains open, the wildfire caused the closure of one of three entrances on the west side, devastating areas that rely on tourism.

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