Two Wildfires Have Burned More Than 5,000 Acres in Yosemite National Park


LOS ANGELES — Two wildfires have burned more than 5,000 acres in Yosemite National Park, officials said.

The Red fire and Rodgers fire, both caused by lightning strikes, have been burning since early August and are not threatening any critical infrastructure or houses, according to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group.

The Red fire, which had charred 3,558 acres as of Thursday, led to numerous trail and area closures in the park, authorities said.

On Sunday, the Red fire had burned just 1,834 acres, meaning it has nearly doubled in size in the last four days.

The Rodgers fire has burned 1,644 acres in a farther north region of the park.

Both fires are 10% contained, according to authorities.

The fires have rendered the air quality in the park mostly unhealthy, according to park data.

An aerial photo of the Red fire shows the charred remains of trees on a green hill as the fire burns a path along Illilouette Creek and smoke billows above.

While both fires have grown steadily in acreage, they “remain within the fire management plan’s objectives and continue forest restoration,” according to Yosemite Fire and Aviation Management.

The agency managed to find a silver lining in the flames.

“They are clearing the forest of heavy fuel loads brought on by decades of fire suppression, long-term drought, and climate change — reducing the risk for catastrophic fires,” the department said in a tweet.