Wildfire Near Yosemite Grows to 2,600 Acres, No Containment - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Wildfire Near Yosemite Grows to 2,600 Acres, No Containment

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Firefighters will be working through the night, and into the morning, to gain control of a wildfire that is burning near Yosemite National Park for a second night.

The El Portal Fire now covers 2,632 acres.

Close to 600 firefighters are on site—and more are expected to arrive overnight.

A stretch of Highway 120 remains closed from Crane Flat to the 120/140 Junction.

Smoke from the fire, is now creeping into Yosemite Valley.

"You can barely make out El Capitan," said Ryan Green, who stopped at the Tunnel View location, before going into Yosemite Valley.

He is visiting from Newport Beach, and planned to spend part of his summer vacation in Yosemite.

"We're supposed to climb Half Dome tomorrow and we're reconsidering even doing that," Green says.

“You can feel the majestic quality, but unfortunately, there's a mask of haze,” says Rebekah O’Shields, who is also visiting the park.

In some areas outside the park, the sounds of the outdoors have been replaced by the sounds of helicopters gathering water from the Merced River, to make the drops that will hopefully save homes and land.

Hot Shot Crews have also replaced hikers along some of the trails

Tourists, like Green and O’Shields, have the option to leave.

“Maybe we'll switch it up and go to Big Sur,” he says.

But Ann Matteson does not.

She lives in the town of Foresta, where the fire forced people out of nearly 50 homes Saturday night.

Another 60 homes were evacuated in the neighboring town of Old El Portal.

“The fire was so close and so frightening.” She says. “I've been there for fires before, but this fire was coming so fast.”

She rounded up her two dogs and left.

She didn’t take her cat, or her wallet.

“I was not ready. I knew I should have had things ready to grab at a moment's notice,” she says.

As of Sunday night, she did not know whether her home was still standing.

Firefighters say one home has been destroyed in Foresta.

"I'm grateful if mine hasn't burned," says Matteson.

The cause of the fire is still not known.

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