Reuters: Yosemite blaze rages closer to reservoir for San Francisco
By Laila Kearney
SAN FRANCISCO | Mon Aug 26, 2013 7:28pm EDT
(Reuters) - One of the largest California wildfires in decades roared largely unchecked for a 10th day through forests in and around Yosemite National Park on Monday and threatened a reservoir that supplies most of San Francisco's water.That was last night. Here is this morning's video report from ABC News.
As of midday, the eastern flank of the so-called Rim Fire had burned to within a mile of Yosemite's Hetch Hetchy reservoir on the Tuolumne River, raising concerns about the possibility of ash and soot contaminating the sprawling artificial lake.
On Saturday, flames had been no closer than 4 miles from the reservoir, which supplies 85 percent of the water consumed by 2.6 million people in San Francisco and several communities in three adjacent counties about 200 miles to the west.
Extreme Weather: Wildfire in Yosemite National Park Blankets Communities in Unhealthy Smoke
An all-out war against the huge wildfire has been raging for a week.That's the view from the ground. LiveScience has a view of the fire from the air in Rim Fire Seen Through Airborne Firefighters' Eyes.
As of Aug. 27, 2013, the massive fire has burned more than 160,000 acres of timberland, including parts of Yosemite National Park. The 146th Airlift Wing of the California National Guard captured footage during a dousing run.In addition to San Francisco's water supply, the fire is also endangering two Giant Sequoia groves inside the park. A normal fire would leave the Big Trees alone, but this one might actually get into their crowns. As I implied in Live fires and dead dolphins: hot environmental news from Reuters, these are not normal fires.
Early August is still too early for brushfires like this. When I moved from southern California to Michigan, they didn't erupt in force until the end of August. Now, there are major fires as early as May! Of course, I blame climate change.Worse yet, there are two more months of fire season left, complete with Santa Ana winds to fan them.
Stay cool, everyone.