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Yosemite’s Wawona community to remain evacuated for days due to fire

The Empire Fire is one of two blazes currently burning in Yosemite National Park. It was caused by lightning on Aug. 1. It is burning in wilderness and does not threaten structures. The other fire that is of concern is the South Fork Fire just east of Wawona.
The Empire Fire is one of two blazes currently burning in Yosemite National Park. It was caused by lightning on Aug. 1. It is burning in wilderness and does not threaten structures. The other fire that is of concern is the South Fork Fire just east of Wawona.

Mandatory evacuation orders will likely continue for several days for the Wawona community as the South Fork Fire in Yosemite National Park continues burning.

On Sunday morning it had grown to 3,191 acres, according to South Central Sierra Incident Management team.

The evacuation order pertains to areas east of Highway 41 on Forest Drive and Chilnualna Falls Road.

The western flank of the fire is just three-quarters of a mile east of Wawona, officials said. Firefighters “continue to aggressively suppress fire spread toward the community of Wawona,” officials said on the fire's online incident page.

The blaze remains at 10 percent containment and continues to threaten the 238 structures. Additional firefighting units are being called in to continue creating lines around the community.

The threat of thunderstorms in afternoon and evening hours will continue into midweek, authorities said.

The South Fork Fire is so named because it began along the south fork of the Merced River. Its cause is unknown.

There is another fire also burning in Yosemite. It is called the Empire Fire, and it is located north of the South Fork Fire in a wilderness area about a mile south of Bridalveil Campground.

Because it is not threatening structures, officials are simply monitoring the Empire Fire. It began Aug. 1, and was caused by lightning. As of Saturday evening, it had burned 1,700 acres.

Larry Valenzuela: 559-441-6084, @larryvalwork

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