Fire Crews Close To Containing Fire Near Yosemite

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters are getting closer to containing a 53-square-mile wildfire that has destroyed more than 20 homes in the mountains outside Yosemite National Park.

Fire officials say the blaze was about 80 percent contained Saturday morning and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

The fire has destroyed 21 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 homes and left a smoky haze over the national park since it was sparked by a target shooter last week.

Firefighters are now focused on building fire lines on the fire's north flank and don't expect the blaze to grow much more.

Fire officials say more acres have already burned in 2008 than in any year since the 1930s when the state began compiling statistics.

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

AP-NY-08-02-08 1305EDT

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