Firefighters tame Yosemite-area fire; Highway 140 still closed
Fire crews gained ground overnight in their battle against the Briceburg Fire, which has been burning for five days near Yosemite National Park.
Cal Fire said the fire has scorched 4,905 acres and is 30 percent contained. Air Attack 51, a fire-mapping aircraft, put the acreage at 5,422, according to Dave Toussant, a retired Cal Fire, Riverside firefighter who monitors active fires.
One structure was destroyed.
Highway 140, one of the three major routes from the west and south to Yosemite National Park, remained closed Friday between Colorado Road and Savages Trading Post. There was no word on when it might reopen.
Firefighters were aided by easing winds, which have been minimal since noon Thursday. Crews were reportedly reinforcing containment lines and beginning mop-up operations.
Look this afternoon at the Briceburg fire near Yosemite National Park. Over 1300 firefighters continue to extinguish the close to 5000 acres of flames. Right now it is 25% contained pic.twitter.com/zvI2CgUZpW— Mederios Babb (@mederiosbabb) October 11, 2019
Mandatory evacuation orders for homes along Highway 140 from the Octagon to Buffalo Gulch Road, and the Bug Hostel area remain in effect. The Briceburg Information Center and the McCabe Flat Campground were also evacuated.
The Merced Sun-Star reported that the fire, smoke and road closure has hurt local businesses and scared away tourists.
"Luckily, it wasn’t as bad as before," said Darci Bazinet, daughter of the owners of Happy Burger Diner, told the Sun-Star. "The smoke seemed to be blowing away from us."
"It’s absolutely hurting business," Bazinet added. "I dread these fires."
Mike Moffitt is an SFGATE Digital Reporter. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Mike_at_SFGate.