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Calif. Wildfire Now Twice as Big as San Francisco

Rim Fire threatens Yosemite National Park
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2013 8:12 AM CDT
Calif. Wildfire Now Twice as Big as San Francisco
In this undated photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, the Rim Fire burns near Yosemite National Park, Calif.   (AP Photo/U.S. Forest Service)

(Newser) – Tourists fled the area around Yosemite National Park yesterday, as a wildfire headed for the park quadrupled in size. The Rim Fire is now 63,000 acres, or about twice the size of San Francisco, the San Jose Mercury News reports. The main highway leading to the park was closed down, as Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the county.

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There were 1,850 firefighters battling the blaze as of yesterday, and the cost of doing so has grown to $5.4 million. But the fire is still only 1% contained, the Modesto Bee reports. It currently threatens 2,500 homes. "This is running the same footprint as the 1987 Complex fire," said a county official, referring to a blaze that wound up burning 147,000 acres. "It has the potential of being very, very dangerous." (Read more firefighters stories.)

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