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The Latest: More evacuations as fire rages near Yosemite

LOS ANGELES – The Latest on the fires burning in California (all times are local):

8:00 pm

Officials have ordered more mandatory evacuations as firefighters battle a growing wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Wednesday that the fire has burned 60 square miles (155 square kilometers). It is 25 percent contained.

The new evacuations cover communities outside the park the north side.

Authorities on Tuesday ordered visitors to leave all campsites and accommodations are by the afternoon of Wednesday.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman said Yosemite Valley, the heart of the visitor experience in the park, together with a mountainous, 20 miles (32 km) stretch of California State Route 41.

He says that the park is not under imminent danger of the nearby fire. The smoke from the fire is obscuring the valley of the grand views of waterfalls and steep granite faces.

The closure will last until Sunday.

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12:00 pm

Disappointed tourists under evacuation orders are the empty campsites and lodges in the heart of the Yosemite National Park as firefighters fought to contain a huge forest fire on the west side.

Park spokesman Scott Gediman said Yosemite Valley, the heart of the visitor experience in the park, together with a mountainous, 20 miles (32 km) stretch of California State Route 41 will close Wednesday at noon. The closure will last until Sunday.

He says that the park is not under imminent danger of the nearby fire. The officials decided on the closure to crews for the conduct of protective measures, such as burning away brush along roads, without having to deal with the tourist traffic.

Smoke is obscuring the valley of the grand views of waterfalls, shear granite faces. The fire was 25 percent contained Tuesday.

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