El Portal Fire Causes more Closures, Yosemite Valley Remains Open to Public

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Rim Fire: Acres Jump, Contaiment DropsMARIPOSA—

The El Portal Fire has burned more than 3,000 acres of wilderness and is 19% contained. The park, including Yosemite Valley, remains open, according to the Yosemite National Park Service.

A fire with an unknown cause started along the western edge of Yosemite National park. It is near the Dark Hole Fire, which remains just over 500 acres in size and is smoldering. Since the El Portal fire is such a a larger threat, fire officials have moved resources over to fight the El Portal Fire.

The fire is burning through brush, grass and oak at lower elevations, but it is burning evergreens above 4,500 feet. The steep slope and high elevations make the fire much harder for the firefighters to reach.

All entrances to the park are currently open, but Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and El Portal Road are closed. Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Grove, and Glacier Point are accessible from Highways 140 or 41. The high country is accessible from Highway 120, but the Big Oak Flat Road that connects Highway 140 to Highway 120 to the Valley is temporarily closed. If you’re traveling on Highway 120 you can use the Highway 49N detour to access the Valley and the southern areas of the park.

Greg Cotta filed this report.

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