Yosemite Wildfire Rapidly Growing, Threatens San Francisco Utility Supply

After burning for nearly a week, a massive wildfire in California poured over into Yosemite National Park on Friday, reports the San Jose Mercury News.

The fire, which stretched to almost 200 square miles, is just a few hundred acres short of becoming the 15th largest wildfire in California recorded history dating back to 1932. Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for San Francisco 150 miles away because of a threat to the city’s utilities. San Francisco gets 85 percent of its water from the Yosemite-area Hetch Hetchy reservoir about four miles from the fire.

The fire is currently threatening to burn thousands of homes that have been evacuated and disrupting vacation plans in the area.

“I think about the people out there doing the rough camping that are miles away from their car. That’s got to be scary.” said Pleasanton resident Shelby McNamara, who just returned from the fire area.

California Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said 2,700 firefighters have battled the fire, but dry conditions have helped the fire spread rapidly.

“And now the fire has grown to a size and intensity where it’s creating its own wind and weather,” Berlant said.

As of Friday, the fire was only five percent contained.