FIRE STORM

Massive Yosemite Wildfire Spreads (PHOTOS)

Fire fighters battling one of the biggest wildfires in California history have begun using a Predator drone to fight the flames. See pictures of the blaze here.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Max Whittaker/Reuters

Fire fighters battling one of the biggest wildfires in California history have begun using a Predator drone to fight the flames—which have engulfed an estimated 300 square miles. See pictures of the blaze here.

David McNew/Reuters

The late afternoon sun shines through smoke as fire creeps through the forest at the Rim Fire just outside of Yosemite National Park, California, August 27. One of the largest California wildfires on record roared deeper east into Yosemite National Park on Tuesday, frightening away many late-summer visitors, while the sprawling blaze also crept closer to thousands of homes west of the park. 

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A deer runs through a parking lot in the Yosemite Valley on August 28 in Yosemite National Park, California. As the Rim Fire continues to burn on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, the valley floor of the park remains open. The Rim Fire has charred more than 190,000 acres of forest and is currently 30 percent contained.

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A park visitor swims in a Yosemite Valley river on August 28 in Yosemite National Park, California.

Jae C. Hong/AP

A firefighter stands on top of a fire truck at a campground destroyed by the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Monday, Aug. 26. Crews working to contain one of California's largest-ever wildfires gained some ground Monday against the flames threatening San Francisco's water supply, several towns near Yosemite National Park and historic giant sequoias.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Fire trucks drive through heavy smoke generated by the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

NASA, via Getty

In this handout provided by NASA from the Suomi NPP satellite shows the drought-fueled Rim fire (C) burning near Yosemite National Park (outline) on August 26, in Stanislaus National Forest, California. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens thousands of homes and structures outside of Yosemite National Park.  

Mike McMillan/U.S. Forest Service/Reuters

Smoke from the Rim Fire, viewed from the Pilot Peak Lookout, is shown in this undated United States Forest Service handout photo near Yosemite National Park, California, released to Reuters August 27.

National Park Service, via AP

This photo provided by the National Park Service shows a Merced Grove cabin, next to giant sequoias, covered in metal foil by CalFire crews trying to protect structures from the Rim Fire burning through trees near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 27.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

A CalTrans worker takes a break during a tree cutting operation in an area that was burned by the Rim Fire during a media tour of the fire area on August 28, near Groveland, California. Over 3,500 firefighters are battling the destructive Rim Fire that has charred 180,000 acres and has entered a section of Yosemite National Park. The fire is currently 23 percent contained.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Over 2,000 firefighters are battling the blaze that has entered a section of Yosemite National Park and is currently 5 percent contained. The Rim Fire continues to burn out of control and threatens thousands of homes and structures outside of Yosemite National Park.

Max Whittaker/Reuters

The McCain inmate crew out of San Diego struggles to cut a fire line on a steep slope on the Rim Fire near Buck Meadows, California, August 24. A fast-moving wildfire on the edge of Yosemite National Park has forced the closure of two more areas of the park, but an official said on Saturday he was cautiously optimistic that firefighters could halt the advance of flames. 

Jae C. Hong/AP

The massive Yosemite Fire burned through 134,000 acres in nine days as it pushed closer to Yosemite National Park on Monday. The blaze is the 15th largest in California history, and is still only 7 percent contained. Firefighters have had difficulty reaching some parts of the fire, especially as it burned through parts of previously untouched wilderness and through hot and dry conditions.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

A view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley on August 28, in Yosemite Nationall Park, California. As the Rim Fire continues to burn on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, the valley floor of the park remains open. The Rim Fire has charred more than 190,000 acres of forest and is currently 30 percent contained. 

Justin Sullivan/Getty

Members of the Kern County Rio Bravo Hot Shots monitor the Rim Fire on Saturday near Groveland, California. Parts of the blaze burned through so much that firefighters called the devastation “the black,” as entire ravines and ridges became dusty and gray.

Jae C. Hong/AP

Inmate firefighters walk along Highway 120 after a burnout operation as firefighters continue clearing brush and setting sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias. The fire, which had grown to just over 125,000 acres (50,585 hectares) as of early Saturday, remained largely unchecked with extreme terrain hampering efforts at containment, which stood at 5 percent.

Scott Sonner/AP

A smoky haze blankets Virginia Street headed south from the main downtown casino strip in Reno, Nev. on on Friday, as health district officials raised an air quality alert to the "red" unhealthy level for the general population.

Justin Sullivan/Getty

A member of the West Stanislaus County Fire Department monitors the Rim Fire along highway 120. The fire affected 282 square miles by Tuesday, the biggest in the Sierra's recorded history and one of the largest on record in California. 

Jae C. Hong/AP

Firefighter Russell Mitchell, left, monitors a back burn during the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 27. Unnaturally long intervals between wildfires and years of drought primed the Sierra Nevada for the explosive conflagration chewing up the rugged landscape on the edge of Yosemite National Park, forestry experts say. The fire had ravaged 282 square miles by Tuesday, the biggest in the Sierra's recorded history and one of the largest on record in California.