More evacuations as Ferguson Fire rages near Yosemite |

More evacuations as Ferguson Fire rages near Yosemite

Officials have ordered more mandatory evacuations as firefighters battle a growing wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Wednesday that the blaze has burned 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). It is 25 percent contained.

The new evacuations cover communities outside the park’s north side.

Authorities on Tuesday ordered visitors to leave all campsites and lodgings by noon Wednesday.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman says Yosemite Valley — the heart of the visitor experience at the park — along with a mountainous, 20-mile (32-kilometer) stretch of California’s State Route 41 will close.

He says the park isn’t under imminent danger from the nearby fire. Smoke from the blaze is obscuring the valley’s grand vistas of waterfalls and sheer granite faces.

The closure is expected to last through Sunday.

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