Yosemite National Park Closes Some Areas Due To Nearby Wildfire

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Thousands of residents in Southern California were forced from their homes by a raging wildfire which remained unchecked early on Thursday as it pushed toward their mountain resort communities. Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, which will authorize the state to rally resources to local governments.

It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

Officials have ordered more mandatory evacuations as firefighters battle a growing wildfire near Yosemite National Park. "This fire is out of control!"

Yosemite National Park is located in California's Sierra Nevada mountains.

This is one of the many fires burning amid a statewide heat wave. Fire engines were also stationed to protect homes. No injuries were reported. Almost 3,500 personnel are working to contain the fire and several surrounding areas remain under mandatory evacuation orders.

The Cranston fire was believed to have been started by arson around noon and had blackened 3,000 acres by 7 p.m. (10 p.m. ET), according to the Inciweb website.

News helicopter footage showed several homes consumed by flames.

In the San Francisco Bay Area at least two homes have burned in a fast-moving wildfire in Clayton.

Firefighters battle the Ferguson fire on Sunday in Jerseydale, California.

While those inside the park have been asked to evacuate, residents who can not are asked to remain indoors and wear oxygen N95 masks. Close to 4,000 structures are being threatened.

"Get yourself out of here if you can", Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds told evacuees, tourists, and park employees inside the Yosemite Valley Auditorium on Tuesday, The Fresno Bee reported.

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Park spokesman Scott Gediman says the exodus was orderly and visitors are understanding of the decision to close.

Vishal says while he understands it for safety reasons, the closure is still disappointing. The glacial valley has been enveloped by a choking haze of smoke from the Ferguson Fire.

Why are officials asking people to evacuate?

The fire in the San Bernardino National Forest has no containment.

Normally teeming with tourists this time of year, Yosemite National Park has been turned into a no man's land as smoke from a raging forest fire cloaks the park and its most famous attractions.

Which parts of the park will be closed and for how long?

Over almost two weeks, flames have churned through 60 square miles (38,522 acres) of timber in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park in Mariposa County.

A firefighter died and seven others have been hurt combating the blaze, which was 27 percent contained as of Thursday morning.

Yosemite Valley will be closed until at least Sunday, along with a winding, mountainous, 20-mile (32-kilometre) stretch of California's State Route 41 that leads into the area, Gediman said.

Officials emphasized that Yosemite wasn't under imminent danger from the fire. Smoke from the blaze is obscuring the valley's grand vistas of waterfalls and sheer granite faces. In lieu of this temporary closure, a third party booking company mistakenly canceled lodging reservations in surrounding areas including Tuolumne County.

Ferguson Fire erupted on July 13 and keeps on sending huge amounts of unhealthy smoke toward Yosemite National Park and nearby areas.

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