3,400 Firefighters Struggle to Contain Yosemite Wildfire

The Rim Fire near the Yosemite National Park has been designated the number one priority for The Forest Service. The blaze is only seven percent contained, and has grown so large it can be seen from space.

More than 3,400 firefighters are battling the blaze which has consumed more than 20 structures and scorched nearly 144-thousand acres. Firefighters are digging trenches, clearing brush and starting back blazes, but a lot of the terrain is inaccessible. The growing blaze is being fueled by bone-dry pine needles and dead leaves.

Park officials and locals are also concerned about the two groves of Sequoias to the east of the blaze. Park officials hope a thermal shield will help protect the trees.

"This will help repel it, let it move around it, particularly if we've cleared it. Our idea is that the fire will go around it and the heat will preclude it from getting exposed to fire," Gary Wuchner of the National Parks Service

The trees have been around for nearly 3,000 years, so every effort is being made to save them.

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