The Rim Fire, which began on Saturday August 17, 2013 at 3:15 in the afternoon, has now, on Tuesday morning August 20, 2013 developed into a more than 10,000 acre inferno in the Clavey River canyon. The fire was active on Saturday, however it wasn't intensely growing. On Sunday and Monday, the weather changed, with high temperatures and stronger winds, and the Rim Fire got a huge boost from that combination.
As of the report last night at approximately 2030 hrs PST, the fire had burned 4,400 acres and had just crossed the Tuolumne River. This morning, the fire has now also crossed Hwy 120 in Tuolumne County, which would place the fire in much closer proximity to inhabited areas, which the fire fighting resources are working to protect.
At this time, Buck Meadows is being evacuated.
Incident: Rim Fire Wildfire
Released: 30 minutes ago (approx. 0800 PST 8/20/13)
The Buck Meadows area is being evacuated. An evacuation center is at Tioga High School located on 19304 Ferretti Road, Groveland, California.
-Highway 120 is closed at Smith Station.
-Highway 120 is also closed to all outbound traffic from Yosemite National Park.
-Cherry Lake Road is closed at Highway 120
As noted, the information released indicates the potential for growth is extreme. Fuel loads in the timbered areas now reached across Hwy 120 are a very real problem for the fire fighters.
The terrain in the area is extremely difficult to work in with very steep, very rocky canyon walls. It is difficult to imagine being able to place any type of land based fire fighting equipment in the area. At this time, fire suppression is largely based on fixed wing aircraft, the fire retardant bombers are being used extensively on this fire.
The smoke created by this fire is affecting the efforts of fire fighters and also affecting the nearby communities.
It is also now being reported in the Incident Information Release that up to 2,500 homes are being threatened along the area of Ferretti Road in Groveland, Ca. One local news source, MML, has reported 2 homes were lost since yesterday along Packard Canyon Road in Groveland, Ca.