The massive “Rim Fire” in and around Yosemite National Park was 75 percent contained as of this morning, however the U.S. Forest Service is estimating the fire will continue burning until later this month.
The fire, which started on Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest and spread into Yosemite National Park, has charred 235,841 acres and destroyed 11 homes and 100 other buildings, according to the forest service.
There have been five injuries reported in connection with the fire.
Cal Fire officials said the blaze is the fourth largest wildfire in California history.
As of this afternoon, all evacuations prompted by the quick-spreading blaze were lifted as firefighters gained the upper hand on it.
However a portion of state Highway 120 remains closed near Yosemite and other road closures should be expected throughout the region.
A lingering concern is smoky conditions and poor air quality as the fire continues to burn, officials said.
Full containment is not expected until Sept. 20, according to the forest service.
The Hetch Hetchy Reservoir that provides water to 2.6 million San Francisco area residents remains unaffected despite ash falling on the water, with turbidity, or cloudiness, levels below state-mandated levels, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
Two of three hydroelectric powerhouses, the Kirkwood and Holm turbines, were taken offline on Aug. 19, but today the Kirkwood facility has resumed providing power after repairs were made over the weekend, according to PUC officials.
Both facilities were affected by the fire with Kirkwood minimally damaged, while the Holm Powerhouse sustained a burned roof and the structure partially collapsed.
Holm is the city’s largest powerhouse and crews are working to get it back online, however power supplies have not been disrupted since the fire with Moccasin Powerhouse generating power throughout the blaze, according to the commission.
Since the shutdowns, the city has spent about $860,000 on alternative energy sources, according to PUC officials.
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News