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Yosemite Wildfire: What We Know
A Northern California Rim Fire that began on August 17th had Governor Jerry Brown declaring a state of emergency for the city of San Francisco. Now in its tenth day, the blaze has demolished more than 150,000 acres of land—an area about the size of Chicago—making it the 13th largest state wildfire since 1932.
President Barack Obama reached out to Brown on Sunday via telephone. According to an official release from the Office of the Press Secretary, “the President expressed his gratitude for the brave men and women working tirelessly to combat this devastating fire,” and also “reiterated his commitment to providing needed federal resources to support the ongoing state and local response.”
Here’s what else we know:
-On August 17th, a plane en route to another small fire spotted flames on a ridge in Stanislaus National Forest. An air team was alerted, and water was dropped until nightfall, though inclement weather allowed the blaze to spread. [LAT]
-The fire is threatening San Francisco’s water and power supply. It is extremely close to San Francisco’s primary source of drinking water, the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. [Fox]
-As of Sunday afternoon, the fire has consumed 15,000 acres in the northern area of Yosemite National Park, though very little damage has been done to the Yosemite Valley. [CNN]
– Over 3,600 firefighters were able to contain 15% of the fire as of this morning, compared to 2% containment on Friday. [BBC]
– Brown’s declaration frees up funding and resources for San Francisco. It is now eligible for more federal funds that will go towards power shortages, power outages, and water issues. [Fox]
-As of today, the fire has destroyed 23 structures. At least 4,500 remain threatened. [SFGate]