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A dry summer in Yosemite National Park

Aug. 24, 2007 at 10:12 PM

MERCED, Calif., Aug. 24 (UPI) -- A snow-short winter in the California Sierras has left many of the famous waterfalls in Yosemite National Park running dry and the park short of water.

The park is also at high risk of wildfire, The Sacramento Bee reported. Officials declared the fire season open a month ahead of schedule.

"It's dry, but it's still beautiful," said Adrienne Freeman, a park ranger. "One of the beauties of Yosemite is that it is a wild, natural place. We'll continue to manage whatever nature throws at us. Every year there's something. In 2005-06, remember, the snowpack was 200 percent of normal."

Managing the drought includes packing water to Sunrise High Sierra Camp by mule, shutting down flush toilets at some campgrounds and limiting showers.

Daniel Berlant of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said there have been few fires so far -- but he said, historically, many of Yosemite’s worst fires have occurred in the fall.

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