Today Crucial in Yosemite Fire Battle
Rim fire still growing amid strong winds
By Rob Quinn, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2013 3:43 AM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2013 7:28 AM CDT
With winds gusting to 50 mph on Sierra mountain ridges and flames jumping from treetop to treetop, hundreds of firefighters have been deployed to protect communities in the path of the fire.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

(Newser) – The massive wildfire raging in and around Yosemite National Park is still growing, and forecasters warn that today will pose a huge challenge for firefighters. Progress has been made at the western edge of the fire, but it is still pushing to the north and east and strong winds spreading the fire from treetop to treetop are likely to hamper containment efforts today, a National Weather Service meteorologist tells the Los Angeles Times. "If they can make it until Tuesday, it looks like conditions will be better," he says.

The Rim Fire, one of the largest in California's history, is still just 7% contained despite the efforts of 2,800 firefighters from across the state."This fire has continued to pose every challenge that there can be on a fire: inaccessible terrain, strong winds, dry conditions. It's a very difficult firefight," a forestry official tells the AP. Communities in the fire's path have been evacuated. In San Francisco, where a state of emergency has been declared, drinking water quality has not been affected despite the fire's proximity to the main reservoir supplying the city, though two hydropower plants have been shut down and the city has had to spend $600,000 buying power elsewhere to make up the shortfall, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The blaze has created its own weather pattern, and is threatening two groves of the planet's oldest trees.

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Aug 26, 2013 11:16 AM CDT
But I thot the US Forest service had determined that over the millenium forest fires served to prevent a buildup of excess fuel & undergrowth where a fire could "go postal" and reach the treetops with devastating results such as what occurred in Yellowstone a few years back. Since we allowed a 100yr build up to occur, now we reap the whirlwind of devastation we've inadvertantly caused by our own policies- we should have left it alone since Ma' Nature has been around a whole lot longer than us protecting the 1000yr old Sequoias by simply allowing forest floor level burns to occur- Now its forest fires raging across tree tops thanks to our ignorance Just proves that government policies DO have Unintended Consequences- from healthcare to regulations to you name it, they seem to have an uncanny ability to mess things up BIG TIME and NO ONE goes to Jail. Example- you don't see anyone clammering to reinstate the 1937 Uptick Rule, removed on 7/7/07 by Bush's SEC to Trigger onset of a Great Recession. What R they waiting for? onset of a 2nd Great Depression? YES & it won't end until last postwar baby boomer retires @2025- its all planned out folks by the BIG BOYs
Aug 26, 2013 6:20 AM CDT
Al Gore & Robert Redford are among the elite firefighters bravely trying to save those trees.