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The Rim Fire continues to burn in the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park. The blaze has affected over 224 square miles and thousands of firefighters have been deployed to fight the blaze, which is 15 percent contained. The fire is one of the largest in California history. And it’s still growing. Thousands of people have been evacuated and nearly 5,000 structures are threatened. Some of the more than 3,000 firefighters battling the flames are digging trenches and clearing brush this morning around Tuolumne City and nearby Sierra foothill communities.
From the LA Times:
Nine structures have been destroyed so far, and thousands more are threatened, including 1,600 homes in Tuolumne City at the northwestern edge of the fire, officials said.
There are concerns that the fire could get close to the Hetch Hetchy reservoir and affect water and power to San Francisco. From the San Jose Mercury News:
Although the Rim Fire is more than 100 miles from the Bay Area, it still could threaten San Francisco’s electric supply if it damages the power system originating in O’Shaughnessy Dam at Hetch Hetchy reservoir. The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations near Hetch Hetchy, and Gov. Jerry Brown has extended a state of emergency to include San Francisco because the reservoir is a major source of electricity and water for the city.
Yosemite employees have been working to protect two groves of giant sequoias. The trees are usually fire-resistant, but due to the high heat, officials are concerned that they could be harmed.