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Fire rages near Yosemite

SHERRYLYN CLARKE, [email protected]

Fire rages near Yosemite

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MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) – A new wildfire that broke out yesterday on the edge of Yosemite National Park has forced the evacuation of about 700 homes, officials said.

The blaze broke out at about 2 p.m. and was burning out of control, consuming at least 300 acres in Mariposa County, California state fire spokeswoman Karen Guillemin-Kanawyer said.

Some 700 homes and five businesses were under evacuation orders in the area of Ponderosa Basin, Guillemin-Kanawyer said. The area is about 15 miles southwest of the heart of Yosemite.

No damages or injuries were immediately reported and it wasn’t yet clear what caused the blaze, officials said.

There were also no reports on any immediate effects on the park.

Later yesterday a second blaze broke out 15 miles to the south in the community of Oakhurst. Nearly 300 alert calls telling residents to evacuate were sent out, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Department said, but they were cancelled when the blaze’s progress was stopped at five acres.

Meanwhile in far northern California, a blaze that broke out nearly four weeks ago grew to nearly 130 square miles.

A red flag warning for dangerous fire conditions near that blaze was extended to tonight, but it has yet to damage any homes or buildings. It’s 25 per cent contained.

Some homes in the Happy Camp area were under evacuation orders, but it wasn’t clear how many.