Rim fire 40-percent contained, but long slog ahead

Sept. 1, 2013 at 11:17 AM
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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif., Sept. 1 (UPI) -- Overnight winds caused a number of small fires to break out around the perimeter of California's stubborn Rim fire, officials said Sunday.

The new blazes were being tackled Sunday and added to the workload of the army of firefighters battling what CAL FIRE said had grown to be the fifth largest wild fire in state history.

The Rim fire was 40-percent contained Sunday with 222,777 acres of forest burned. Full containment was not expected until Sept. 20, incident commanders said.

The attack plan Sunday included setting backfires around the Hetch Hetchy reservoir, strengthening existing containment lines and protecting the 4,500 structures considered threatened.

Higher humidity Saturday slowed the spread of the fire somewhat; however the air was predicted to dry out in the coming days. AccuWeather said the weather conditions and the heavy volume of brush and trees in the area made conditions ripe for further growth of the fire.

The fire was on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park, which remained open to visitors but was starting to see the effects of the heavy smoke. KNTV-TV, San Jose, Calif., said visitors reported the haze was obscuring some of the park's most scenic views.

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