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Yosemite wildfire grows as firefighters struggle to contain blaze

California Wildfires
Posted at 2:49 PM, Jul 13, 2022

More than 3,700 acres of land in Yosemite National Park have been claimed by the Washburn Fire, forcing several highways in the area to close.

Meanwhile, officials said that 17% of the fire has been contained, as of early Wednesday afternoon. The fire has been burning for nearly a week as dry conditions continue to fuel the flames.

The fire has threatened 500 sequoia trees in the Mariposa Grove, which was evacuated and is closed. The rest of the park remains open.

Some towering trees extend hundreds of feet into the sky and are up to 3,000 years old.

Officials are using the removal of heavy and fine fuels around the trees and deploying ground-based sprinkler systems to increase the humidity near the trees. The fire is burning in difficult terrain with continuous heavy fuels in and around the fire, National Park officials said.

The fire is also in an area with a lot of fuel left behind from trees that died seven to nine years ago.