Ferguson Fire rages on inside Yosemite National Park

Tuesday, August 7, 2018
Ferguson Fire rages inside Yosemite International Park
The fire reached 94,000 acres, with containment at 39 percent.

WAWONA -- As of Tuesday morning, the Ferguson Fire has burned 94,311 acres and is at 43 percent containment.

Smoke from that fire and others has been overwhelming families inside Yosemite National Park. The haze is so thick that even after evacuation orders were lifted in Wawona, families and even wildlife were hesitant to return home.

"We were just excited to see my husband because he's in Wawona right now. We get to see him at night so it's worth enduring the smoke and the hazards of being up here just to be with him," said Elisa Bevington who lives in Wawona.

Bevington is one of the few who has gone and returned. Her husband is a firefighter in the park. She says this fire season has been the most difficult for them.

RELATED: Sections of Yosemite National Park closed indefinitely due to Ferguson Fire

"It's had a very big impact on our family and our community. I'm from Mariposa and we lost a very loved one. We went to school with him. He was a very special man," said Bevington of fallen dozer operator Braden Varney.

Even though the sheriff's office lifted several evacuations Monday, they are warning the fire is still dynamic. The flames have been unpredictable inside the park, where flames can be spotted near three main roads.

Firefighters say the Ferguson Fire is now the largest one in the Sierra National Forest's history.

RELATED: Evacuation order lifted for Wawona as Ferguson Fire jumps in size

Crews did have some success on the overall perimeter. They were able to keep the fire within containment lines in the North. Near El Portel, firefighters were able to navigate the flames away from homes.

"They've actually been using their fire operations within those structures with structure protection groups to move the fire in a way they want it to go," said PIO Cheyenne Warner.

The threat to Yosemite isn't over. Firefighters say they will continue firing operations throughout the night along Wawona road.

Get the latest on wildfires burning across California here.