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More people evacuated as massive wildfire spreads

    A wildfire burning into Yosemite National Park is now close to 200 square miles.

MGN Online

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) - As a massive wildfire burning into Yosemite National Park grew to nearly 200 square miles, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the city of San Francisco 150 miles away because of the threat to the city's utilities.

The governor had already declared an emergency for the area around the fire but Friday night extended it to San Francisco, saying the blaze posed a threat to the city's power lines and stations in the fire area.

The city gets 85 percent of its water from the Yosemite-area Hetch Hetchy reservoir and that has yet to be affected.

But San Francisco has been forced to shut down two of its three hydroelectric power stations in the area, and further disruptions or damage could have an effect on the power supply.

Authorities are urging more evacuations in communities around Yosemite where thousands have already been forced out by the flames.

The week-long blaze is only 2 percent contained. The U.S. Forest Service says the fire is threatening about 4,500 homes. It already has destroyed four homes and 12 outbuildings. More than 2,000 firefighters are on the lines and one has been injured.

The fire has hit the park at the height of summer season. It has closed some back-country hiking but is not threatening the Yosemite Valley region, one of California's most popular tourist destinations.


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