Wildfire grows near famed Yosemite grove of sequoias

Wauna, California (AP) – Class Yosemite National Park is closed. Officials say wildfires have intensified near California’s Sequoia Tree Forest.

Park officials on Thursday forced the fire to shut down Mariposa Grove, the largest Sekoya Grove in Yosemite and home to more than 500 mature Sequoia giants. The rest of the national park is open.

The fire broke out from 46 hectares (19 hectares) on Thursday night to 250 hectares (101 hectares) without any storage, Yosemite Fire Spokesman Nancy Filipe said.

The Sequoia are in danger of being set on fire, but there have been no reports of serious injuries to Groove Sequoia, such as 3,000-year-old Griezli Giant, Philip said.

Some visitors to the park were evacuated on Thursday, but no injuries were reported. Access to the group was blocked to make it easier for firefighters to reach the fire, Philip said.

“Certainly our priorities are the huge Sequoia and the Wauna community in the park,” she said.

The fire was first reported on the Park Washington Road – where the fire was named – in the lower part of Mariposa Grove on Thursday at around 2pm by 911 callers, Philippe said. The cause is under investigation.

Workers are fighting the fire on land and in the air to prevent it from spreading.

“We are beating him as hard as we can,” says Philip.

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