|Firefighters from coastal Monterey, California watch as the Rim Fire burns out of control|
by: Lou Angeli
GROVELAND, CA (August 25, 2013) – The fast moving Rim Fire on the northern border of Yosemite National Park grew by an additional 7 square miles overnight as more and more firefighters from throughout the western states arrive to flight the blaze.
The fire, one of the biggest in California history, now covers 210 square miles and is just 7 percent contained. Officials fear that the blaze will spread even faster as strong south winds, expected to be as high as 30 mph, arrive later today.
|Current Map shows Yosemite Nat'l Park to the east.|
"The wind could push it further up north and northeast into Yosemite and closer to those communities and that is a big concern for us," said Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDF).
Yosemite National Park officials are taking no chances as they cleared brush and set sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias. About three dozen of the giant trees are affected.
"All of the plants and trees in Yosemite are important, but the giant sequoias are incredibly important both for what they are and as symbols of the National Park System," said spokesman Scott Gediman.
Despite the efforts of 2,672 firefighters, backed by planes and helicopters, the raging fire is threatening water supplies and electrical generating plants, which supply the city of San Francisco. In anticipation of failures, Governor Jerry Brown yesterday ordered a state of emergency for San Francisco and other communities in the bay area.
InciWeb reported that the Rim Fire will continue to exhibit large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain. The report continued; rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are hampering suppression efforts.
Additional aerial resources such as high volume MAFFs and VLAT DC-10 air tankers making drops in advance of the fires spread toward the Highway 108 corridor.