By Robert J. Lopez
9 September 2013
(Los Angeles Times) – The cost of battling the massive Rim fire raging in and around Yosemite National Park has reached $100 million, federal fire officials said Monday night.
The blaze has charred 253,332 acres -- or 396 square miles -- of brush and timber after erupting in the Stanislaus National Forest on Aug. 17, fire officials said. The blaze is 80% contained.
The U.S. Forest Service said firefighters faced hot and very dry conditions Monday as flames tore through pockets of unburned vegetation around Thompson Peak and on the south edge of the fire.
Officials have said the massive fire was caused by a hunter who lost control of his campfire.
Fire crews on the ground Monday hustled to contain 15 spot fires that broke out past fire lines along Tioga Road in Yosemite, the Forest Service said.
On Monday night, crews were planning to set backfires, or intentionally ignite unburned fuel, along a three-quarter-mile front to contain another spot fire burning in Yosemite, fire officials said.
A 14-mile stretch of the California 120 inside the park remained closed Monday from Crane Flat to White Wolf.
The blaze has destroyed at least 11 homes and 97 outbuildings, according to the Forest Service. More than 3,000 firefighters were battling the blaze.