Yosemite Fire Brings San Francisco Utility Emergency

An uncontrollable wildfire spread into Yosemite National Park on Friday after growing to 200 square miles.

A giant destructive wildfire of about 200 square miles has now crossed into Yosemite National Park with firefighters barely struggling it. Photo: KRON 4 News/Flickr

The Yosemite Valley, the part of the Californian park, whoch is well-known among tourists  for such iconic sights as the Half Dome and El Capitan rock formations and Yosemite falls, was open for visitors when the disastrous the blaze covered the territory about 20 miles away.

The wildfire caused a governor’s declaration of emergency late Friday for San Francisco 150 miles away. The statement from authorities claimed that the state of emergency was announced because of the threat the fire posed to utility transmission to the city.

The natural disaster, which surfaced at the height of the summer season for the park, had established at least a foothold in Yosemite, burning inside the broad borders, in a remote area near Lake Eleanor where backpackers seek summer solace.

Park representative Kari Cobb told reporters that Yosemite park was closed for backpackers and had warned those who already had them to stay out of the area.

Cobb also emphasized that the skies over Yosemite Valley were “crystal clear,” however.

“Right now there are no closures, and no visitor services are being affected in the park,” Cobb said. “We just have to take one day at a time.”

Unfortunately, the wilfire posed a threat to the sources of transmitting power to the city of San Francisco, so Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced the state of emergency for the fire area a few days ago, was forced to do the same for the city across the state.

“San Francisco gets 85 percent of its water from the Yosemite-area Hetch Hetchy reservoir that is about 4 miles from the fire, though that had yet to be affected. But it was forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area,”  USA Today explains.

“The city has so far been able to buy power on the open market and use existing supplies, but further disruptions or damage could have an effect, according to city power officials and the governor’s statement.”

The blaze which reportedly covered about 200 square miles was 5 percent contained and more than 2,000 firefighters were on the lines.

The fire kept on growing in several directions, although “most of the fire activity is pushing to the east right into Yosemite,” said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

According to reports, in Nevada, several counties were forced to cancel numerous outdoor school activities and issue health advisories because of the enormous level of smoke in the air and urged people with respiratory problems to restrain from going outside.

Which is more,a mandatory evacuation order’s effect was prolonged for part of Pine Mountain Lake, a community a few miles from the very center of fire.

“It feels a little bit like a war zone, with helicopters flying overhead, bombers dropping retardant and 10 engine companies stationed on our street,” said Ken Codeglia, a retired Pine Mountain Lake resident who decided to stay to protect his house with his own hoses and fire retardant system. “But if the fire gets very hot and firefighters evacuate, I will run with them.”

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