Crews reach 50% containment on Washburn fire in Yosemite

Firefighters have made significant progress against the Washburn Fire that broke out in Yosemite National Park on July 7 and burned nearly 5,000 acres.

As of Monday, the fire had scorched 4,911 acres and was 50% contained, mostly within Yosemite.

Crews worked to build containment lines while battling dry and hot conditions with temperatures in the 90s and heavy fuel.

“The observed fire behavior has decreased with successful suppression measures in most parts of the fire growth,” fire officials said in a statement Monday. More than 1,500 employees were assigned to the fire.

The fire has spread to the Sierra National Forest, which borders Yosemite to the south, resulting in the closure of a northern portion of the forest.

Late last week, the fire began burning through a remote canyon at the South Fork of the Merced River, the US Forest Service said.

The fire is affecting wilderness, roads and key recreational areas and will require “significant firefighting and forest resources,” the forest service said.

But just as the fire caused one area to close, another was reopened.

Shortly after it started, the fire prompted the evacuation and closure of Yosemite’s Wawona camping and residential area near an iconic grove of giant sequoias, which firefighters rescued.

The area reopened to residents and property owners on Saturday with restrictions.

It’s still unclear when the area will reopen to the general public, park officials said. Crews reach 50% containment on Washburn fire in Yosemite

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