Fire Threatens Homes West of Yosemite Park

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

MIDPINES, CALIF. (AP) - A fast-spreading wildfire is raging out of control near a western entrance to Yosemite National Park.

The blaze has charred about 25 square miles, or 16,000 acres, since Friday. Fire officials say wooded slopes have ignited amid hot, dry conditions that have plagued California for months. The steep terrain west of the park is overgrown with dense brush that's fueling the flames.

Officials have ordered the evacuations of 170 homes under
immediate threat, mostly in the town of Midpines. About 2,000 homes
face at least some danger from the fast-spreading flames.

About 900 firefighters are battling the fire and hundreds more are headed to the scene along the Merced River west of Yosemite, one of the nation's most-visited national parks.

A state fire spokeswoman says the cause of the fire "is definitely target shooting," but would not elaborate.

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