The so-called Rim fire, west of Yosemite National Park, began last weekend and has now spread to over 16,000 acres of tinder dry forest. The fire is located in the Stanislaus National Forest, northeast of the small town of Groveland, A major access road into Yosemite, California Highway 120, passes through Groveland and into the park, some 30 miles east. Hwy 120 cuts through the park and continues toward Nevada at Lee Vining. Hwy 120 near Groveland is now closed due to the fire jumping the road at Buck Meadows. Yosemite is open but only via entrances located on highways 140, 41 and the eastern end of Highway 120 (Tioga Road).
Containment of the fire is estimated at 5%. Several buildings have burned and evacuations are taking place. Most are still voluntary with the Pine Mountain Lake area in jeopardy. This gated summer community of has a population of nearly 3,000 people. Air tankers, helicopters and ground crews are on scene. Close to $2M in fire fighting resources have been expended.