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Yosemite West under mandatory evacuation order after Ferguson Fire grows to more than 29,000 acres

Ferguson Fire grows to more than 27,000 acres

Fire crews continue to battle the Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 21, 2018. According to Cal Fire Public Information Officer, Michael Whitaker, the fire has burned more than 27,000 acres and is seven percent contained.
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Fire crews continue to battle the Ferguson Fire in Mariposa County, Calif., on Saturday, July 21, 2018. According to Cal Fire Public Information Officer, Michael Whitaker, the fire has burned more than 27,000 acres and is seven percent contained.

Yosemite West, a private resort community inside Yosemite National Park, is under a mandatory evacuation order as of Saturday morning as the Ferguson Fire grew to more than 29,000 acres by Saturday afternoon.

Incident commanders added Anderson Valley on the fire’s northern edge to the mandatory evacuation list, but noted that there were no evacuation orders or notices for the Greeley Hill or Coulterville communities.

The fire that has been burning for more than a week west of Yosemite National Park has singed 29,045 acres, incident commanders announced Saturday evening in their latest update. The fire grew by 1,900 acres on Saturday. It remained six percent contained.

The wildfire potentially reaching Yosemite West is worst-case scenario, said incident commander Mike Strawhun on July 17. The community of cabins is on the park’s western edge and east of where the fire started.

Other areas are under evacuation order: Old El Portal, Rancheria Flat government housing, Foresta, Yosemite View Lodge, El Portal Trailer Court, Jerseydale, Mariposa Pines, Cedar Lodge/Indian Flat Campground, Savage’s Trading Post, Sweetwater Ridge and Incline Road from Clearing House to the Foresta Bridge. Many more areas are under evacuation notice.

More than 200 structures are threatened but there has been no damage from the fire to structures. The cause is under investigation.

An evacuation center is set up at New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road in Mariposa.

The fire started late July 13 near El Portal in the Merced River canyon. Its footprint grew by about 4,400 acres in the most recent 24 hours tracked.

Friday, the fire jumped over the river. About 2,000 acres of the fire’s footprint are north of the river.

Incident commanders reported two new injuries Friday, both involving firefighters who were hospitalized with back injuries, spokesman Rich Eagan told The Associated Press. A memorial service for firefighter Braden Varney, who was killed July 14 when his bulldozer rolled over in steep terrain, is scheduled for Monday in Modesto.

Yosemite National Park remains open but Highway 140 through the Merced River canyon is closed. Highways 41 and 120 remain open. Glacier Point Road in the park is closed.

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