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Major road into Yosemite National Park reopens as Rim fire threat ebbs

Sept. 7, 2013 at 1:32 AM

SACRAMENTO, Sept. 7 (UPI) -- A major road into Yosemite National Park in California reopened Friday for the first time in more than two weeks as the Rim fire came closer to containment.

Visitors can now use Highway 120 to each the park entrance and Yosemite Valley from the west, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Part of the highway in the park remains closed, so the only access to Tioga Pass is from the east side.

The highway was closed to clear the way for firefighters.

The Rim fire, which has consumed almost 400 square miles, is the third-largest in California history. The blaze, which began Aug. 17, is now believed to have started from a hunter's campfire in Stanislaus National Forest west of the park.

The U.S. Forest Service said containment had reached 80 percent Friday. The blaze is expected to take several more weeks to extinguish completely.

About 3,600 firefighters remain, down from 5,000.

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