Firefighters battling the 24-day-old Ferguson Fire in Yosemite National Park regained containment of the blaze to 38 percent Monday, after the blaze gained ground on fire teams Sunday. The fire, which began July 13, has burned 91,502 acres and was only 35 percent contained over the weekend.
Yosemite Valley remained closed indefinitely as park officials reported the blaze has impacted all roads into the valley. Firefighters are struggling against steep terrain, dense forests of trees killed by the bark beetle, and other hazards.
Air quality, degraded by the blaze overnight, started out with moderate quality Monday morning, but quickly reached very unhealthy levels, according to the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District.
Authorities claimed success in an operation south of Wawona to the South Fork of the Merced River, where they reported the community of Wawona and Mariposa Grove have been secured from the fire.
Along the northern edge, crews kept the fire from crossing Highway 120 above Merced Grove as firefighters trained in cutting down large hazardous trees worked to remove weakened trees on the 120 corridor.