Wildfire could become "major threat" to Yosemite, scientist says

Lightning-caused range fire in Eastern Oregon

The fire size leaped to 9,266 acres, up from Sunday's estimate of around 4,000 acres.

The US Forest is also now in the process of transitioning into a unified command with CAL Fire as more structures are becoming threatened, notably near the communities of Jerseydale and Yosemite West.

One of the firefighters on the fire reported this morning that he thought there was a dozer rollover, and just in case, he wanted to get medical help started to the scene. A GoFundMe account established to help his family had already raised almost $29,000 (of a $30,000 goal) in one day, with 211 pledges.

Officials ordered evacuations for part of the park, including Cedar Lodge/Savage's Trading Post, Sweetwater Ridge, Clearing House and Mariposa Pines. He could not say whether the accident occurred in darkness or daylight, but he said it was not unusual for bulldozer operators to work in darkness.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Deputy Chief Scott McLean says Varney's body is in a precarious location in steep terrain and conditions are too risky to allow crews to get close Sunday.

The terrain surrounding Mariposa County's deadly Ferguson fire is a virtual tinderbox primed for disaster, experts say.

One is that the fire is burning in a tinderbox - an area that's filled with dry, dead trees that became infested with beetles during previous years of drought.

Judge orders alleged Russian agent Maria Butina jailed
In a statement to reporters after the hearing, Driscoll said Butina wanted to send love to her parents and tell them she was OK. Butina had been living in Washington since 2016, after coming to the US on a student visa to study at American University.

Visitors planning to travel from Mariposa or Merced to Yosemite National Park are encouraged to use alternative routes and enter the park via Highway 120 or Highway 41.

No cause of the fire has been released.

"It's very, very steep and very, very rugged terrain, and there are not many opportunities in these mountains to directly fight this fire", fire spokeswoman Adrienne Freeman said, adding that crews had cut containment lines around only about 2% of the blaze.

At least 1,486 fire personnel were deployed in an effort to stop the flames from reaching more than 100 homes and other structures that are threatened, fire officials said.

Cal Fire, the USFS and the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department have created a joint command.

No memorial service plans are available at this time.

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