Fire Prevention & Protection, Firefighting, Wildland Firefighting

Rim Fire Becomes Fourth Largest in (CA) History

The two-week-old Rim Fire in Yosemite became the fourth-largest wildfire in California’s recorded history Sunday, reports USA Today

Although the fire still is growing, it was 40% contained as of Sunday, up from 35% a day earlier.

Moister air was expected to slow flames from advancing through brush and trees, giving firefighters room to set backfires, dig containment lines and to strengthen lines around threatened communities, U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Pam Baltimore said.

For the first time since the wildfire broke out around Yosemite National Park, dense smoke began to obscure the region’s majestic mountain views, park officials said.

All of the campgrounds in the valley still were full as of Saturday morning, despite the thick blanket and burning smell that permeated the area and was expected to linger until at least Monday, she said. About 8% of the park is inside the fire perimeter.

As a health precaution, visitors were being asked to scale back their outdoor recreation plans and avoid strenuous activities or even stay indoors.
A member of the Bureau of Land Management Silver State Hotshot crew from Elko, Nev., walks through a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire.

As of Sunday, the fire had scorched 222,777 acres and was threatening 4,500 residences. Eleven homes have been destroyed. Nearly 5,000 fire personnel are now battling the flames of the Rim Fire. Costs to contain the blaze fire reach $47 million.

“Despite firefighters’ efforts, the remote Rim Fire burning near and in Yosemite National Park continues to be very active,” the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement Saturday morning.

Read more of the story here http://usat.ly/15LQT9w