Fire Crews Close To Containing Fire Near Yosemite

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - Firefighters are close 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 90 percent contained Saturday afternoon and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

The fire that was started by a target shooter last week has destroyed 21 homes, forced the evacuation of 350 residences and left a smoky haze over the national park. Twenty eight people have received minor injuries since the fire started.

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 2036EDT

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