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US park Yosemite partially closed as fire rages

July 25, 2018

Yosemite National Park announces that Yosemite Valley and other areas will remain closed indefinitely due to continued unhealthy smoke impacts and ongoing fire operations.

Hantavirus Mäuse US Nationalpark Yosemite
Image: picture-alliance/dpa

National Park officials said the scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas will be closed indefinitely due to heavy smoke from the so-called Ferguson Fire. Authorities warned of poor air quality and visibilty due to the Ferguson Fire. 

The closure began July 25. These closures include all hotels, campgrounds, and visitor services in Yosemite Valley, Wawona and Mariposa Grove, park authorities said. It was the longest closure at Yosemite since 1997 when floods closed the park for over two months.

The Ferguson Fire, which started on July 13 in the Sierra Nevada mountains, has destroyed. The fire is now 89,633 acres with 38% containment and 2,689 personnel that are currently engaged on the fire. 

Yosemite - the fifth-most visited US national park in 2017 - is open all year but three-quarters of visitors come from May through October, peaking at more than a million across July and August. 

at/ks (afp)