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Air tanker crashes while fighting California fire

Emergency personnel are en route to an area near Yosemite where an air tanker dispatched to the Dog Rock fire may have gone down.

Alyssa Smith, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, said contact was lost with the Cal Fire tanker this afternoon and the status of the pilot and aircraft is not known. She said the tanker was based in Hollister.

The Dog Rock fire is burning in Yosemite National Park near Arch Rock.

The Associated Press reports that a highway serving as the main park entrance to the park has been closed and several dozen homes have been evacuated.

Cal fire reported that the blaze broke out shortly after 3 p.m. near Highway 140, which leads into the heart of the park, and has grown to about 130 acres.

Park officials say the community of Foresta, consisting of about 60 homes on the west side of Yosemite, is under evacuation orders. It is not clear how many of the homes were occupied or how many people have evacuated.

The same community had to evacuate for several weeks in July when because of one of several major wildfires that has burned through the park this year.

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