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UPDATED: Governor Declares State Of Emergency For Rim Fire

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FRESNO, Calif. (CBS/AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for a large and expanding wildfire burning near Yosemite National Park.

Brown issued the declaration Thursday, freeing up funds and firefighting resources for the blaze that has burned more than 84 square miles and is only 2 percent contained.

Other officials had asked for the move, including supervisors in Tuolumne County, who issued a resolution saying the threat posed by the growing fire was beyond their capabilities to handle.

The wildfire outside Yosemite National Park — one of 50 major brush blazes burning across the western U.S. — more than tripled in size overnight and still threatens about 2,500 homes, hotels and camp buildings.

Fire officials said the blaze burning in remote, steep terrain had grown to more than 84 square miles and was only 2 percent contained on Thursday, down from 5 percent a day earlier.

The following areas are under an evacuation advisory:

  • San Jose Family Camp
  • Yosemite Riverside Inn
  • Spinning Wheel area
  • Rainbow Pool
  • Buck Meadows
  • Yosemite Vista Estates
  • Ferretti Road to Clements
  • Camp Tawonga
  • Berkeley Family Camp
  • Harden Flat
  • Naco West
  • Yosemite Lakes RV Park
  • Evergreen Lodge
  • Pine Mountain Lake

A number of camps have also been evacuated, including Camp Tawonga, San Jose Family Camp and Berkeley Camp. About 200 senior citizens and a few dozen staffers were also evacuated from Camp Mather, which is owned and operated by the city of San Francisco.

The fire has destroyed two homes and seven outbuildings and led to the voluntary evacuation of the gated summer community of Pine Mountain Lake, which has a population of 2,800.

Several organized camps and at least two campgrounds have been evacuated since the fire broke out Saturday.

The fire also caused the closure of a 4-mile stretch of State Route 120, one main path into Yosemite on the west side.

Officials said the park remains open to visitors and can be accessed via state Routes 140 and 4.

“This is typically a very busy time for us until Labor Day, so it’s definitely affecting business not having the traffic come through to Yosemite,” said Britney Sorsdahl, a manager at the Iron Door Saloon and Grill in Groveland, a community of about 600 about five miles from the fire.

The board of supervisors in Tuolumne County held an emergency meeting and voted for a resolution asking Gov. Jerry Brown to declare a state of emergency and free funds for the firefight.

The resolution said the fire was “directly threatening” communities and “beyond our capabilities,” according to the Modesto Bee.

The fire was among the nation’s top firefighting priorities, according to the National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho.

There have been more than 32,000 fires this year that have burned more than 5,300 square miles.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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