News / USA

Yosemite Fire Threatens San Francisco

The Rim Fire burns in the background near the border of Yosemite National Park, California, Aug. 23, 2013.
The Rim Fire burns in the background near the border of Yosemite National Park, California, Aug. 23, 2013.
VOA News
A wildfire at the edge of California's Yosemite National Park in the western U.S. is threatening the power lines that provide electricity to San Francisco, prompting Governor Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency for the city.

Brown issued the declaration Friday as the so-called Rim Fire blazed about 300 kilometers away from the city.

Some power lines have been shut down after the fire damaged the electrical infrastructure serving San Francisco, but there have been no reports of power outages.

Yosemite is known for its waterfalls, huge rock formations, giant trees and other scenic wonders.

The emergency declaration frees funding and resources to help San Francisco, and makes it eligible for federal funds to help with utility shortages.

The blaze is one of 50 wildfires raging across the drought-parched western U.S., straining resources.

Thousands of firefighters are battling the wildfires.

The Rim Fire spread into Yosemite, one of the major U.S. tourist destinations, on Friday. It began last week in the western Sierra Nevada Mountains.

The fire is currently about 6 kilometers from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which provides water to the San Francisco area. If the blaze moves to the reservoir, the city's water supply could be affected.

Authorities say thousands of people have been forced from their homes since the fire began. Officials are expected to order evacuations in more communities as the fires spreads.

The National Park Service says most of Yosemite has not been affected by the fire and remains "relatively smoke-free." The service warns, however, that conditions could change, if the winds shift.

You May Like

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid