Hundreds of firefighters have been called in to save some of the world’s oldest and tallest trees in the United States.
The fire is said to have doubled the spread of more than 2,340 hectares of land in a day and only 25 percent of the forest has been “carefully guarded”, officials said.
“We are doing everything we can to put out the fire, including deploying air tanks and helicopters with ground personnel,” Nancy Filipe, spokeswoman for Yosemite Fire, told AFP.
Neighborhoods and residents have been displaced. However, the sprawling park remained open to visitors, although heavy smoke obscured sightings and created unhealthy air quality.
Yosemite National Park in California is one of the most visited tourist destinations. The largest Sekoya Grove in the park is the home of Giant Sequoia, Mariposa Grove. The shrub in the southern part of Yosemite has more than 500 mature squirrels, including the 3,000-year-old grizzly giant.
Videos and photos circulating online show the intensity of the fire as smoke billows over long seconds.
“A full initial response, including fire resources and state and local partners, has been sent to Yosemite National Park,” said an event update released by InciWeb, a disaster risk management system in the United States.
Washington fire was first reported on Thursday afternoon. A total of 545 firefighters are trying to stop the fire using methods, including ground-based spraying.
Authorities are now hoping that the increase in humidity around trees and the elimination of fossil fuels will reduce groundwater risk, the Yosemite Fire Authority said in an update.
Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the fire. It has grown to about 50 square miles[9.5 sq km].
Due to the dry weather in California, wildfires are common, but over the past decade, temperatures have become more common.