Crews make progress on 150,000-acre Rim fire near Yosemite
Firefighters gained ground Monday on the Rim fire raging in and around Yosemite National Park as it grew to the size of Chicago, charring nearly 150,000 acres.
As it continued to push up from the southwest, firefighters got a slight reprieve from frustratingly erratic winds that have characterized conditions for several days. The blaze is now 15% contained, according to fire officials.
In an area with a recent history of fatal fires, officials said they are cognizant of the challenges crews are facing: rugged terrain, dry fuel and wind.
The head of the fire blazed north into Yosemite toward a granite rock formation, scorching 21,775 acres, about 3% of the park’s total area, said park ranger Kari Cobb.
The rough terrain has proved challenging for crews since the fire was spotted Aug. 17, but the granite could be an effective natural barrier that could slow or stop the flames, said Johnny Miller with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's public information bureau.
Though 15% containment – up from 7% on Sunday – seems low, Miller said, it’s a good number considering what firefighters are up against.
“Everything is looking as good as it possibly can for this stage of the fire,” he said. “We’re making good progress.”
According to the National Weather Service, wind gusts were topping out at 15 mph without significant shifts in direction. A prevailing wind from the Pacific could push flames ...