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Local Firefighting Crews Being Sent To Fight Wildfire In Foothills Near Yosemite

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Credit: Sacramento Fire Dept.

Credit: Sacramento Fire Dept.

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MARIPOSA, Calif. (CBS/AP) – Firefighters from throughout California are being dispatched to protect homes that are under threat from a wildfire burning in the foothills near Yosemite National Park.

Firefighters from UC Davis, Cosumnes, Folsom and Sacramento fire departments are among the crews that have been sent.

Fire officials said on Tuesday morning that the blaze in Madera County had destroyed eight structures and was threatening 500 others. It isn’t clear how many of those structures are homes, but officials said mandatory evacuation orders had gone out to some 13,000 phone numbers for homes and businesses. The fire has burned through nearly 2 square miles.

Four hotels in the community of Oakhurst about 16 miles away from an entrance to Yosemite were evacuated and Tuesday classes have been canceled for most of the Yosemite Unified School District.

The fire was burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on site, but the Modesto Bee reports the tanks were spared and the threat to them was brief.

As a result of the fire, State Route 41 between State Roads 426 and 620 in Oakhurst has been closed, according to a Caltrans statement. The public is advised to use an alternate route, and watch for fire crews in the area.

In addition, motorists should enter or exit Yosemite National Park using State Route 140.

Follow @CHPCentralDiv for the latest road closure updates.

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(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or Redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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