Firefighter killed battling massive California wildfires

Yosemite Valley to close due to growing wildfire

Yosemite Valley closed to battle wildfires

Scott McLean, a CalFire spokesman for the crews battling the blaze, said flames blew through the communities of Shasta and Keswick before jumping the Sacramento River and reaching Redding, a city of about 92,000 people - the largest in the region.

The community has faced two wildfires in the last two weeks, Hines said.

"We were on our toes the whole time, to be honest with you", Teague said. "This is the first time Yosemite Valley has been closed due to a wildfire since 1990".

Persistently warm and dry conditions, coupled with poor overnight humidity recovery, created conditions for active fire behavior throughout the day.

Several other park sites and roads have been closed because of the fire impact, according to a statement from Yosemite National Park. At least four homes burned as crews used aircraft to attack the flames that quickly burned almost 5 square miles of dry brush and timber in inaccessible terrain. In a matter of hours, the so-called Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles.

Triangle Rd from Jerseydale Rd to Hwy 49 South including all side roads. An estimated 600 homes were threatened.

A 32-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of igniting a blaze that forced the closure of Yosemite National Park, burned five homes and prompted evacuation orders for an entire mountain town in Southern California, officials said.

It was not clear if McGlover, who was being held on $1 million bail, had retained an attorney.

"We are very dependent on tourism like the rest of the community, this is our peak season", Kathrin Poetter at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp told the news station. About 200 were at a local high school serving as a shelter, KCAL-TV reported.

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A third major blaze, the nearly two-week-old, 43,300-acre Ferguson Fire, forced much of Yosemite National Park to close on Wednesday, as it poured thick smoke into the valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains some 170 miles east of San Francisco.

"We had one guest who planned a weeklong trip", Lambert said. "Now it's done. It's sad". Another guest had to delay plans to climb Half Dome.

New evacuations were ordered Wednesday for areas in the path of the Ferguson Fire burning near Yosemite National Park.

According to USA Today, about 2,000 visitors were inside the park as of Tuesday.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Wednesday that the blaze has burned 60 square miles (155 square kilometers).

Over almost two weeks, flames have churned through more than 57 square miles (147.6 square kilometers) of timber in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park.

Crews now have 29-percent containment on the 45,911 acre blaze.

More than 3,400 personnel using 16 helicopters and 59 bulldozers were fighting the conflagration.

One firefighter was killed on July 14, while six others have been injured.

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