Wildfire outside Yosemite prompts evacuations

View of the wildfire burning near El Portal. ((Carol Yorkie))

Evacuations are in place for the community of Foresta as firefighters battle a wildfire outside Yosemite National Park.

The fire is burning in Merced Canyon, near El Portal, and has burned between 300 and 500 acres, according to dispatchers.

The National Park Service's Turtleback Dome and Air Quality Webcam shows a large amount of smoke billowing into the air.

Foresta is considered to be directly threatened, authorities said. Big Oak Flat Road is closed between Crane Flat and Highway 140.

Crews are attacking the flames from the air and ground right now.

The cause of the fire is not known, but we're told it was not sparked by lightning.

The Madera County Sheriff's Office of Emergency Services has set up shelters at Tenaya Lodge (Mariposa side) and Groveland Community Center. Traffic is being diverted from highways 140, 41 and 120.

Stay with Action News and ABC30.com for the latest information on this breaking news.

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firewildfiremariposa countyYosemite National ParkCalifornia
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