Growing Rim Fire Forces More Evacuations

FRESNO – Authorities are urging more evacuations as a huge wildfire spreads into California’s Yosemite National Park.

The fire has closed backcountry hiking in the park, but is not threatening the popular Yosemite Valley region.

The U.S. Forest Service says the fire is threatening about 4,500 residences. Officials issued voluntary evacuation advisories for two new towns on Friday – Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills. Both are about five miles from the fire.

The fire grew from 99 square miles to more than 165 square miles overnight and is only 2 percent contained. Smoke blowing across the Sierra into Nevada forced officials in several counties to cancel outdoor school activities and issue health advisories.

The U.S. Forest Service says the blaze has destroyed four homes and 12 outbuildings in several different areas.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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