By Stephen Ceasar
3:39 PM EDT, August 24, 2013
Despite the massive wildfire raging in a remote area of Yosemite National Park, it was a calm and picturesque Saturday morning for most at the park, officials said.
The park has remained opened despite the Rim fire, which has scorched more than 125,000 acres and crept into the northwestern portion of the massive park.
The blaze, which is only 5% contained, has destroyed nine structures and threatens 4,500 more, according to a U.S. Forest Service update.
The fire has burned about 12,000 acres inside the park, but has been contained to remote areas that see few visitors, said Scott Gediman, a park ranger.
“Everything looks good here. Beautiful blue skies and it’s cooling down,” Gediman said from the Yosemite Valley area, which includes popular attractions like Half Dome and Glacier Point. The valley is about 20 miles from the blaze.Some campgrounds and entrances have been closed due to the fire, but most of the entrances that get the heaviest traffic remain open, he said.
The entrance from Highway 120 on the west side of the park was closed, and the Hodgdon Meadow campground and the Hetch Hetchy Backpackers’ campground were closed as of Saturday afternoon.
Popular areas in the park, however, such as Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, Crane Flat, White Wolf and Tuolumne Meadows were open Saturday.
The park has received a few cancellations of campground reservations, which are notoriously hard to come by.
“If somebody cancels a campground reservation, there’s 10 people waiting to snap it up,” he said.
Copyright © 2013, Los Angeles Times