More than 100 firefighters sent from Fresno County to Rim fire

The Fresno BeeAugust 23, 2013 

About 125 firefighters, hand crews and personnel from Fresno County Cal Fire have been assigned to the Rim Fire, which was burning more than 100,000 acres on Friday in and around Yosemite National Park.

To keep resources staffed locally, firefighters from San Diego are filling in throughout Fresno County, said Ryan Michaels, spokesman for Cal Fire/Fresno County Fire Department.

Fresno Fire Department also sent several engines to the fire, and Clovis Fire Department sent two engines, Michaels said. Another 15 cities and counties throughout the Valley have sent one engine or support staff, he said.

When a blaze gets as large as the Rim Fire, many surrounding cities and counties are called upon to offer assistance so no one area is burdened, with Cal Fire providing the largest amount of resources, Michaels said.

"The fire has been steadily increasing day by day, with over 100,000 acres burning today, almost double (the acreage) from yesterday and double the day before that," Michaels said Friday. "It's a very dynamic fire. They haven't increased containment much because it's way out there."

Yosemite National Park reported Friday morning that approximately 11,000 acres of park land were on fire between Lake Eleanor and Cherry Lake. The Rim fire continues to move north and east and slowly towards the Hetch Hetchy area, park officials said. On Friday morning, the fire was still more than 20 miles from Yosemite Valley.

On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Tuolumne County. Highway 120 is closed east of Groveland to the Big Oak Flat entrance of the park, and the Hetch Hetchy area remains closed.

The Hodgdon Meadow area continues to be without commercial power and there is no estimation of when power will be restored, park officials said. Hodgdon Meadow has not been evacuated, although residents are being urged to be prepared to vacate if necessary.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6386, cgeorge@fresnobee.com or @CarmenGeorge on Twitter.

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