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US Wildfire More than Half Contained

  • VOA News

A fire crew stands watch along a fire break near a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California, Aug. 30, 2013.

A fire crew stands watch along a fire break near a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California, Aug. 30, 2013.

U.S. firefighters say they have made big gains in battling a massive wildfire in California that is threatening a famous national park.

Firefighters said Monday the fire is 60 percent contained. They said they made major progress Sunday night with the help of cooler temperatures and higher humidity.

More than 5,000 firefighters are battling the fire on the edge of Yosemite National Park. The so-called Rim Fire has engulfed more than 90,000 hectares and destroyed more than 100 structures since it started two weeks ago.

It is still some distance from Yosemite National Park's major attractions, including granite rock formations and waterfalls. However, the wildfire has affected tourism at the park.

The fire is the largest one in the United States this year and the fourth largest California wildfire on record.

The cause of the fire that broke out August 17 is under investigation. It is one of dozens of large wildfires burning in the western United States, which has been plagued by a lack of snow and rainfall this year.
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