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 theLos 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 Beereports.