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Firefighters gaining ground on wildfire at Yosemite National Park

Randy Mancini 7 Jul 12
Smoke coming from the Washburn Fire can be seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., as it continues to burn in Yosemite National Park on Monday, July 11, 2022. California firefighters have gained ground against the wildfire that poses a threat to a famous grove of giant sequoias and a small community in Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Smoke coming from the Washburn Fire can be seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., as it continues to burn in Yosemite National Park on Monday, July 11, 2022. California firefighters have gained ground against the wildfire that poses a threat to a famous grove of giant sequoias and a small community in Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Hundreds of firefighters are racing against time to contain a wildfire threatening a small community and ancient Sequoia trees at Yosemite National Park. The Washburn Fire has scorched more than 2,000 acres and is 25 percent contained.

The fire was first reported on July 7 and residents of the Wawona community and campers have since been evacuated. Fire crews are using several tactics to protect more than 500 Sequoias in the park’s Mariposa Grove, including the most well-known tree named “The Grizzly Giant.”

Firefighters are doing everything they can to help protect the famous sequoias in the Yosemite National Park from the #Washburnfire.

This video shows the ground-based sprinkler system around the Grizzly Giant, one of the most-renowned trees in the park. #CAwx #fire pic.twitter.com/i2S5y8nfvX

— WeatherNation (@WeatherNation) July 12, 2022

The flames are being fueled by extreme heat and dry conditions. Crews are tracking the fire from above and using air tanker planes to drop fire-retardant chemicals on the blaze. They are also using bulldozers to create containment lines and wrapping some of the Sequoias with protective foil.

#WashburnFire burning in Yosemite National Park. @sfchronicle pic.twitter.com/icFsJUZjdI

— Dustin Gardiner (@dustingardiner) July 11, 2022

The southern portion of Yosemite is closed to visitors, but the rest of the national park remains open.

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