Wind in Yosemite thwart firefighters

2013-08-25 19:34
(Justin Sullivan, AFP)

(Justin Sullivan, AFP)

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Groveland - Firefighters braced on Sunday for strong winds that could push a raging wildfire further into the northwestern edge of the Yosemite national park, threatening thousands of rural homes.

The massive blaze was also burning in the vicinity of two groves of giant sequoias that are unique the region, prompting park employees to take extra precautions of clearing brush and setting sprinklers.

The towering trees, which grow only on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and are among the largest and oldest living things on earth, can resist fire.

However, dry conditions and heavy brush are forcing park officials to take extra precautions in the Tuolumne and Merced groves. About three dozen of the trees are affected.

The Rim Fire has burned 525km² - an area about the size of Chicago - and was just 7% contained late on Saturday night.

It started in a remote canyon of the Stanislaus national forest on 17 August and grew rapidly under dry conditions.

More than 2 600 firefighters and a half dozen aircraft were battling the blaze.


Read more on:    us  |  fires

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