Yosemite Fire Threatens San Francisco Utilities

City in state of emergency over massive wildfire 150 miles away

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 24, 2013 6:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – It's some 150 miles away, but a massive wildfire burning in the Sierra foothills in and around Yosemite National Park has triggered a state of emergency in San Francisco, reports the Chronicle. The Rim Fire threatens transmission lines that carry power to the city, along with the reservoir that serves as its water supply. The fire, now 200 square miles and only 5% contained, has crossed into Yosemite on the park's remote western border, though the Yosemite Valley area most popular with tourists remains open and might emerge unscathed, reports AP.

"Right now there are no closures, and no visitor services are being affected in the park," says a spokesperson. "We just have to take one day at a time." More than 2,700 local and federal firefighters were on the scene last night, but strong winds were making things difficult. The Los Angeles Times reports that mountain communities that depend on late summer tourism were being hit hard.

A smoky haze blankets Virginia Street headed south from the main downtown casino strip in Reno on Friday, the result of the Rim Fire.   (AP Photo/Scott Sonner)
In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the Rim Fire burns near Yosemite National Park, Calif. It has now gone inside the park's borders.   (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)
In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the Rim Fire burns near Groveland Ranger Station in Groveland, Calif.   (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)
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