Map of Rim Fire Near Yosemite National Park
Nearly 900 personnel were sent in to battle the massive wildfire that covers over 16,200 acres and has caused the destruction of two homes and seven outbuildings in the Yosemite area in Northern California.
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As of Wednesday morning, the Rim Fire was only 5 percent contained and still threatening around 2,500 structures to the west of the fire along Ferretti Road north of Highway 120. The extreme blaze also forced the shutdown of the State Route 120 highway into Yosemite National Park, reports NBC Bay Area.
The wildfire broke out Saturday at about 3 p.m. local time in the Stanislaus National Forest area just outside Yosemite. The cause remains under investigation. Out of the 10 major wildfires burning in California, the Rim Fire is among the largest.
An Advisory Evacuation for all of Pine Mountain Lake was issued as the Rim fire in the Stanislaus National Forest continued to spread.
Column induced weather preceded the fire front Tuesday and rain halted the fires to spread in the direction of camp. Other areas of the fire continued to burn actively with a southeasterly spread of the fire over Highway 120.
"The weather is not cooperating, and it's relatively unfriendly terrain," said Alameda County Fire Special Operations Chief Rob Schnepp. "This is growing in intensity."
National Weather Service forecasters issued a red flag warning for lightning through Wednesday after several strikes hit the area Monday night. Associated rain helped a bit, stopping the spread of the fire toward the incident command camp.
"We are expecting thunderclouds moving in again today," said Jerry Snyder, spokesman for the United States Forest Service, according to the Modesto Bee. "If it follows last night's weather, then it'll stay high in elevation, which is fine by us. There's plenty of granite up there."
However, if the storm drops down to about 3,500 feet, however, that could create further problems for firefighters battling for the upper hand. "If those cells produce wind, that could be another problem for us," Snyder added.