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Crews make overnight gains on Yosemite wildfire

Posted: September 2, 2013 10:50 a.m.
Updated: September 2, 2013 10:50 a.m.
 

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Crews working to corral the massive wildfire searing the edge of Yosemite National Park made major gains on the blaze overnight and were anticipating additional advances on Monday with the help of cooler temperatures and higher humidity, officials said.

The fire was 60 percent contained as of Monday morning, up from 45 percent Sunday night, according to California fire officials. The blaze also grew about 9 square miles and now covers more than 357 square miles.

Full containment is not expected until Sept. 20.

Mandatory evacuations remain in effect for some south of Highway 120 and Tioga Road west of Yosemite Creek Picnic Area is closed.

Crews will continue building fire lines and burning away the fire's potential fuel sources on Monday.

"We do have a nice window here of more cooperative weather," state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said.

Gusty winds and dryer conditions are expected midweek, however, again raising the fire danger, Berlant said.

The blaze started Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest and two-thirds of the land burned since then is located there as well. The cause is being investigated. About 4,500 structures are threatened.

The fire — the fourth largest in California history — has claimed 111 structures, 11 of them homes.

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