Ferguson Fire containment 43%. Highway 140 reopens but Yosemite Valley still closed

The Ferguson Fire had burned 93,331 acres by Tuesday morning as firefighters brought containment of the blaze to 43 percent, authorities reported.

Highway 140 in the Merced River Canyon was reopened, allowing access to homes and businesses between Briceburg and the Yosemite National Park boundary. The park entrance and Yosemite Valley remains closed.

Evacuation orders were lifted for El Portal, Old El Portal, El Portal Trailer Court, Rancheria Flat government housing, Incline Road, River Road from Briceburg to Lake McClure and for residents along Highway 140 from Midpines to the Yosemite National Park entrance. Evacuations were also lifted for Anderson Valley, Greeley Hill Area, Hall Gulch, and Old Yosemite.

All traffic into the El Portal area will need to use the entry point at Highway 140 in Midpines. Yosemite National Park remains closed.

The 25-day-old blaze burned 2,829 acres overnight. Firefighters’ top goal Tuesday is containing the spread of the fire into Yosemite National Park and securing the communities of Foresta and Yosemite West. Hand crews are reinforcing a fire line north of Foresta.

In the Badger Creek area, firefighters are using pumps and hoses to knock down hot spots.

Two firefighters have been killed and 12 injured fighting the blaze.

An indefinite closure remains in effect for Yosemite Valley, Wawona Road, the Mariposa and Merced groves of giant Sequoias and Hetch Hetchy.

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