Fire Destroys 25 Homes Near Yosemite National Park

Authorities have closed a major highway into Yosemite National Park so crews can battle flames licking close to thousands of homes.

The blaze roaring through a steep, dry river canyon has destroyed 25 homes, and forced the evacuation of 300 others in the Sierra Nevada foothill towns of Midpines and Coulterville.

More than 46 square miles of rugged terrain have burned since a target shooter sparked the wildfire on Friday. The fire was just 10 percent contained Tuesday morning as it burned about 12 miles from Yosemite National Park, which remained open and teeming with visitors.

Still, some tourists packed their bags and left campgrounds and other areas near the park because of the fire and the smoky haze that accompanied it.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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