Ferguson Fire burning near Yosemite continues slow march forward

MARIPOSA COUNTY -- Fire officials say they continue to make progress on the Ferguson Fire which has now burned 57,041 acres and is 30 percent contained.

People in the area can also expect to see more smoke over the coming days as crews continue to set backfires. Officials say air quality is likely to worsen, but they say this is an important tactic to simultaneously reduce fuels and improve containment of the fire.

Firefighters are working to secure the southeast quadrant of the fire to keep it from spreading into Yosemite National Park and the more populated areas south of the park.

The fire continues to burn close to the park and the weather conditions have kept the Yosemite Valley filled with unhealthy levels of smoke. That has led the National Park Service to announce that parts of Yosemite National Park will remain closed until Friday, August 3.

RELATED: Firefighter struck and killed by tree while battling Ferguson Fire

While the Ferguson Fire continues its slow growth, those working the fire lines are also in mourning. Another one of their own was killed while on the job fighting the flames in Mariposa County.

Brian Hughes, 33, lost his life when he and his crew were conducting a tactical firing operation on the east side of the fire. During that operation, he was struck by a tree. He was treated on scene but died before he could make it to the hospital.

RELATED: Crews continue to fight to keep Ferguson Fire away from Yosemite, populated areas

This comes just 16 days after Cal Fire Heavy Equipment Operator Braden Varney was killed on the job.

Dozens lined the streets of the town of Mariposa and Merced Sunday to pay their final respects to Hughes. A procession led the firefighter's body from the Mariposa Airport to the Stanislaus County Coroners Office.

Fire personnel escorted his body through the city of Merced.

Get the latest on the Carr Fire here, the Complex Fire here and the latest on wildfires across California here.


Road Closures:
  • Highway 41/Wawona Road is closed from the Yosemite Valley, through Wawona, to the park's south gate
  • Highway 140 and Incline Road from Yosemite National Park to Midpines (residents allowed)
  • Big Oak Flat Road from the Highway 120 junction at Crane Flat to the Yosemite Valley
  • Anderson Valley Road
  • Foresta Road
  • Harris Road at Highway 49 South
  • River Road from Briceburg to the gate at Railroad Flat and all campground areas along Highway 140
  • Summit Road
  • Old Yosemite Road

Mandatory Evacuations:
These areas are currently under a mandatory evacuation:
  • Anderson Valley
  • El Portal Trailer Court
  • Foresta
  • Old El Portal
  • Old Yosemite Road
  • River Road from Briceburg to the last BLM campground
  • Yosemite View Lodge
  • Yosemite West

Evacuation Advisories:
This is NOT an Evacuation Order. This is an advisement only of a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change.
  • Cedar Lodge/Indian Flat Campground
  • East Westfall Road and all side roads
  • Ponderosa Basin Community
  • Rancheria Flat - Government Housing
  • Savage's Trading Post

Evacuation Center:
  • Mariposa Elementary School - 5044 Jones St, Mariposa CA 95338

Animal Shelters:
Small Animals:
5599 California 49
Mariposa CA 95338

Large Animals:
Mariposa County Fairgrounds
5007 Fairgrounds Road
Mariposa CA 95338
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