Yosemite Evacuates During a Deadly Fire (in Photos)

Smoke from the fire has created dangerous air-quality conditions in Yosemite Valley.
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The Ferguson Fire continues its march toward Yosemite National Park, forcing the largest closure in the park in decades.

Since July 13th, the wildfire has burned across 45,911 acres and is only 29 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Although the flames are still two miles from the park, smoke from the fire has choked the valley and created air-quality conditions worse than in Beijing, Yosemite officials told the Los Angeles Times.

Officials say climate change has contributed to the valley's many dry, dead trees—kindling for the Ferguson Fire, which claimed the life of one firefighter, injured several others, and forced the evacuation of tourists earlier this week.

"Get yourself out of here if you can," Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds told a group of tourists and park employees, the Fresno Bee reports.

Below, scenes from the fight against the fire.

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Firefighters watch as an air tanker drops fire retardant over the Ferguson Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, near Yosemite National Park, on July 21st, 2018.

Firefighters watch as an air tanker drops fire retardant over the Ferguson Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, near Yosemite National Park, on July 21st, 2018. 

Inmate firefighters battle the Ferguson fire in Jerseydale, California, on July 22nd, 2018.

Inmate firefighters battle the Ferguson fire in Jerseydale, California, on July 22nd, 2018.

Tourists wear masks while visiting Yosemite National Park as smoke from the Ferguson Fire fills the air on July 21st, 2018.

Tourists wear masks while visiting Yosemite National Park as smoke from the Ferguson Fire fills the air on July 21st, 2018.

An air tanker drops retardant while battling the Ferguson Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, near Yosemite National Park, on July 21st, 2018.

An air tanker drops retardant while battling the Ferguson Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest, near Yosemite National Park, on July 21st, 2018.

Ferguson Fire evacuee Dan Powell and his dog Amber wait in a Red Cross shelter in Mariposa, California, on July 22nd, 2018.

Ferguson Fire evacuee Dan Powell and his dog Amber wait in a Red Cross shelter in Mariposa, California, on July 22nd, 2018.

Smoke from the Ferguson fire hangs over the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal, Yosemite National Park, California, on July 21st, 2018.

Smoke from the Ferguson Fire hangs over the Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal, Yosemite National Park, on July 21st, 2018.

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