Raging Ferguson Fire closes Yosemite Valley

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During the peak of the tourist season, Yosemite is blanketed by a thick haze of smoke as the Ferguson Fire has closed sections of the park, including the popular Yosemite Valley. (KGO-TV)

During the peak of the tourist season, Yosemite is blanketed by a thick haze of smoke as the Ferguson Fire has closed sections of the park, including the popular Yosemite Valley.

Campgrounds and many hotels have closed. Tourists are leaving. Others like Sander Prent from Holland are not going, "Yesterday we saw on the news, there's a fire. So we had to reschedule our plans."

Many Yosemite tours have cancelled.

RELATED: Ferguson Fire continues to grow prompting new mandatory evacuations

Extranomical Tours of San Francisco is not one of them.

During the peak summer months, Extranomical tours takes about 5,000 visitors to Yosemite.

So, instead of cancelling, the tour company's owner Gary Lillian told ABC7 News, "Yesterday, we invented an alternative tour that explores the wilderness area in the northern part of Yosemite Valley which is still open."

Lillian had to also had to move many of his guests out of Yosemite when they were forced to leave when their hotels suddenly closed.

Six of their guests had to leave on Tuesday ahead of time. Lillian bused them back to San Francisco.

He was able to find last minute hotel rooms for everyone except one couple. Lillian brought a blowup mattress to his office. That was where the two had to spend last night.

RELATED: Parts of Yosemite National Park closing due to Ferguson Fire

It was worth a four star rating!

It wasn't hard to find tourists who had to cancel their trip. Most of those we spoke with understood why.

Susan and Graeme McDonal are from Australia. They said, "We're used to bush fires happen. It's c'est la vie ."

The Hansen family is from New Hampshire. Cancelling was tough, especially for Susan and Kevin Hansen's little ones.

"We had somebody crying tears last night because he really wanted to go," Susan Hansen said pointing to her son Logan.

We asked Logan why he was so looking forward to Yosemite.

His answer: "There are bears... and wolves."

Maybe those are a good reason to stay put in the city.

For more stories, photos, and video on recent wildfires, visit this page.
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