Homes burned as a fast-moving wildfire forced an entire Southern California mountain town to evacuate Wednesday, while tourists emptied from the heart of Yosemite National Park so firefighters could battle a growing blaze nearby.
As CNN points out, that means campgrounds, hotels, visitor services and other facilities in those areas will be shut down.
Yosemite National Park is ordering all visitors to evacuate large swaths of the park by noon on Wednesday amid worsening risks caused by the 38,000-acre Ferguson Fire, which has roared for almost two weeks and remains just 25 percent contained.
Mara Schumann photographs a plume of smoke from the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite National Park, Calif., on July 24, 2018.
At least 1,000 campground and hotel bookings will be canceled - to say nothing of the impact on daily visitors, park workers and small businesses along the highway, Gediman said. As the blaze continues to rage, parts of the park have been forced to close.
Heavy smoke from the 60-square-mile (155-square-kilometer) fire is hanging over the valley, which normally bustles with summer visitors.
The heart of Yosemite National Park remained empty the day after campers and hotel guests were evicted so firefighters could try to keep the state's largest fire from entering the park almost two weeks after it was sparked.
An explosive wildfire tore through two small Morthern California communities Thursday before reaching homes in the city of Redding, destroying dozens of structures and a historic schoolhouse, and causing burn injuries to civilians and firefighters, a state fire official said.
Yosemite National Park remains closed to visitors with a target of Sunday for reopening.
Yosemite Valley closed to battle wildfires
"People are heartbroken", she said.
Brad Lyons and Courtney Richard, who had traveled from St. Louis and Tulsa to visit the park for the first time, stopped for photos Tuesday at Tunnel View, a popular lookout spot to marvel at at the 7.5-mile long valley and its famous landmarks, including El Capitan and Half Dome.
This is one of the many fires burning amid a statewide heat wave.
The fire quickly burned almost 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of dry brush and timber.
Smoke is obscuring the valley's grand vistas of waterfalls and shear granite faces. Crews had contained just 10 percent of it, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
The fire command reported Wednesday morning that 3,434 personnel are engaging the Ferguson Fire.
Authorities ordered residents to leave Idyllwild and several neighboring communities, home to about 12,000 people.
For current conditions, trip planning, and more information visit the Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks website.
"When we saw that the visitor's center was closed, we knew it had to be bad", Lyons said.