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Ferguson Fire grows more than 3,000 acres. Warm and dry weather to blame

The growing Ferguson Fire claimed 3,548 more acres overnight and the fire’s containment fell five percent, according to an update at 7 a.m. Saturday.

The fire has burned 80,755 acres and containment is at 36 percent. Warm and dry conditions are the cause of the fire spreading rapidly throughout the night, incident commander Mark von Tillow said.

Meanwhile, Cal Fire issued an evacuation warning Saturday for the areas east of Coulterville in Mariposa County after a new wildfire broke out.

Just after 4 p.m., Cal Fire said the Wagner Fire had spread to 10 acres near Texas Hill Road and Bondurant Mine Road, east of Coulterville, and evacuations were being ordered. The fire agency said structures are being threatened by the fire.

Also, Yosemite Valley remains closed through Sunday.

Officials say they tentatively plan to reopen Monday after a 12-day closure but will still reassess this weekend.

“We are hoping to get back open on Monday but conditions have to be safe,” said park spokesman Scott Gediman, who said the decision will be based on air quality, visibility, weather patterns and safety for firefighters who are performing protective measures known as back burning near the park’s southwestern border.

Friday night, the Ferguson Fire incident commander reported a spot fire jumped over Wawona Road, or Highway 41. Stopping the spread of the fire and the suppression of the spot fires remain the firefighters’ top priority.

Ten structures have been destroyed in the fire and the estimated containment date is Aug. 15.

Residents of Yosemite Valley were told they had to evacuate by noon Friday.

Officials said Yosemite Valley was “not threatened by the fire at this time, but a mandatory evacuation has been issued due to multiple hazards along El Portal Road, Big Oak Flat Road, and Wawona Road, as well as power outages in Yosemite Valley.”

A Red Cross shelter is located at New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road in Mariposa.

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