Union Democrat staff

Evacuation terminology:

Advisory: It is recommended, suggested.

Order: Declared by the sheriff. You must leave or could face arrest.

Check back for updates as they come in:

Sept. 2, 7:15 p.m. - Total acreage burned has now reached 235,841.

Containment has reached 70 percent.

The fire was "very active" on the eastern and southern fronts today with moderate growth to the north and west.

The estimated cost has reached $72 million.

Sept. 2, 12:40 p.m. - All schools will open in Tuolumne County tomorrow, according to Joe Silva, Tuolumne CountySuperintendent of Schools.

Sept. 2, 7 a.m. -The Rim Fire has now burned 228,670 acres.

Containment has been brought to 60 percent.

Overnight, moderate rates of spread were seen on the north, east, south and west.

"Good progress" was made fighting the spot fires near Pilot Peak and along the southern perimeter.

Sept. 1, 6:40 p.m. -Total acreage burned has now reached 224,777.

Containment was brought to 45 percent.

The fire continued to be very active to the south and east today with moderate spread on the north and west.

"Good progress" was made on containing a 61-acre spot fire southeast of Pilot Peak Lookout and on backfire operations around the Crane Flat Lookout.

Crews will continue containment work on spot fires to the southeast and southwest of Pilot Peak Lookout.

Backfiring will continue in the Hull Creek Drainage. within Yosemite National Park near Big Oak Road and Tioga Road and near Clavey Meadow.

Sept. 1, 7 a.m. - Crews successfully contained the spot fire that jumped Old Yosemite Road andforced mandatory evacuations late Friday night and were lifted Saturday afternoon (see below).

High winds brought more spot fires overnight which will be addressed today.

No new acreage total was given at fire briefing this morning.

Aug. 31, 6:30 p.m. - The Rim Fire has burned 222,777 acres.Containment has been brought to 40 percent.The fire burned mostly south and east today. Crews made "good progress" on containing the spot fire that crossed Old Yosemite Road and forced mandatory evacuations late Friday night and were lifted Saturday afternoon (see below). Backfire operations were completed between Big Oak Station and Hazel Green Ranch. Also, "good progress" was made in backfire operations near Crane Flat Lookout.A backfire operation is planned at the eastern edge of the fire in Yosemite National Park between Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Harden Lake as conditions allow. Crews will also continue reinforcing the protection along the Highway 108 corridor and on Dodge Ridge. Backfire operations were started between Hells Mountain and Clavey Meadow.

Aug. 31, 5 p.m. - The mandatory evacuations for the Bull Creek Road and Little Grizzly Mountain areas in Mariposa County have been lifted as of 3:45 p.m.

Crabtree Road has been closed by the U.S. Forest Service for increased emergency personnel access.

The Forest Service will be increasing its forest restriction Sunday to close public access to Crabtree, Gianelli and Pine Valley trail heads as well as Gooseberry Road, or Forest Road 4N35.

All towns south and east of Highway 108 from Mi-Wuk Villageto Pinecrest remain under evacuation advisory.

Dodge Ridge Ski Area and Pinecrest Lake and campgrounds will remain open for business.

Aug. 31, 7:15 a.m. -The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office has issued a mandatory evacuation for the areas north and south of Bull Creek Road and Little Grizzly Mountain as of 10:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

A spot fire crossed Old Yosemite Road, prompting the new evacuations, and crews will work to extinguish it today.

Today crews are also slated to begin a burning operations on Duckwall Mountain, north to Fahey Meadow along Forest Road 3N07.

They will also continue burning in Yosemite National Park near Harden Lake and south to White Wolf and to Tioga Road.

The Rim Fire has burned an estimated 219,277 acres.

Aug. 30, 7:30 p.m. -The Rim Fire has burned an estimated 213, 414 acres or 333 square miles.

Containment was at 35 percent.

The latest investigation of lost structures said 11 residences, three commercial buildings and 97 outbuildings have been destroyed.

Estimated cost to date was $54 million.

Four injuries have been reported.

Aug. 30, 11:50 a.m. - TUD is no longer requesting customers conserve water for use fighting the Rim Fire.

Aug. 30, 7 a.m. - The Rim's Fire's burned area totalled 201,984 acres this morning. Containment was still 32 percent.

Aug. 29, 7 p.m. - The Rim Fire's total burned area is now 199,237 acres. It is 32 percent contained.

Aug. 29, 11:55 a.m. - The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office at 12 p.m. is lifting its evacuation order for the township of Tuolumne. There will be periodic road closures within Tuolumne due to emergency operations. An evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills. Access to the community is restricted to residents and emergency services. The road closure at Buchanan/Cottonwood Road and Sunset Drive remains in effect as well. The Sheriff's Office has asked that drivers use caution inthese areas due to the large amount of emergency services traffic in the area.

Aug. 29, 4:30 p.m. - The evacuation advisory for areas of Soulsbyville and Willow Springs has been lifted. It remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas east, along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. Buchannan /Cottonwood Road remains closed as does Sunrise Drive.

Aug. 29, 6:30 a.m. -The Rim Fire has burned 192,737 acres and is 30 percent contained. About 4,840 fire personnel are assigned to the fire. Evacuation advisories are still in place for areas along the Highway 108 corridor from Tuolumne City to Pinecrest, and all of Tuolumne County's schools remain closed.

Aug. 28, 7:50 p.m. - The Rim Fire's size grew to 192,466 acres today - up about 5,000 acres from this morning's reported acreage. Nonetheless, fire and law enforcement officials close to the firefighting work were guardedly optimistic about progress made Tuesday and today - including new line building and some backburning activity intended to reinforce those lines. The increased acreage today, according to Forest Service officials, to a large degree reflects the backburn work completed, which is counted as acreage burned in the blaze. The Rim Fire is 30 percent contained.

Aug. 28, 3:30 p.m. - The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office at 6 p.m. is lifting its evacuation order for Graham Ranch, off Clements Road in the Groveland area. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. employees and firefighters will be available to help residents get reestablished.

Aug. 28, 1:20 p.m. - Road closure updates from the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office - North Tuolume Road is open except in Ponderosa Hills, where it's only open to residents; Tuolumne Road open to Cherry Valley Road; Tuolumne City is open to residents only. There is a closure/checkpoint at Yosemite and Woosdham Carne Road.

Aug. 28, 7:05 a.m. - The largest active wildfire in the U.S. continued to grow Tuesday and overnight to 187,466 acres, while firefighters appeared to make some progress in stopping its westward and southern growth.

The Rim Fire as of this morning was 23 percent contained, up from 20 percent Tuesday morning. More than 4,000 people - firefighters and support staff from across the state and nation - were battling the blaze.

Aug. 27, 7:30 p.m. - The Rim Fire today grew by about 5,000 acres, to 184,481 acres. Firefighting efforts focused again at the fire's northwest and southeast ends, where property is threatened. The bulk of the work entailed cutting fire lines and droping ratardant and water from the air. Areas of focus included Duckwall Mountain, to protect south-of-Highway 108 communities stretching from Tuolumne City to Pinecrest, and south of Highway 120 in Mariposa County, where several homes are threatened. The fire as of tonight was 20 percent contained and 4,081 fiefighters and support personnel were assigned to battle the huge blaze - the nation's largest active fire.

Aug. 27, 4:16 p.m. - The Tuolumne Utilities District's Board of Directors has canceled its meeting tonight because of the Rim Fire.

Aug. 27, 3:30 p.m. - Yosemite National Park will close part of Tioga Road,from Crane Flat to White Wolf, at noonWednesday for fire-suppression workalong the road.The stretch of road is expected to be closed through Labor Day weekend.

"Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, both located along the Tioga Road within the closure, will remain closed during the fire suppression efforts,"a Park Service annnoucement said. "White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge will remain closed.The Tioga Road will remain open east of White Wolf to the Tioga Pass Entrance. The Porcupine Flat Campground, the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, and all visitor services within Tuolumne Meadows will remain open."

Highways 41 and 140 into the park will remain open.

Aug. 27, 2:00 p.m. - Columbia College's main Sonora campus will remain closed through the rest of the week and is currently scheduled to open Tuesday. However, classes at the college's Oakdale and Calaveras County campuses will proceed as planned.

Columbia's first day of classes had been scheduled for Aug. 26 but were cancelled due to smoke and the Rim Fire's impact on students and staff.

All Tuolumne County public schools will remain closed through the rest of the week at the recommendation of the Rim Fire Incident Command, the Tuolumne County Public Health Department and the Tuolumne County Air Pollution Control District, said Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva.

Silva said a decision will be made Monday, Sept. 2 (a holiday) about whether to open school the following week.

Aug. 27, 1:00 p.m. - All schools in Tuolumne County will be closed through Friday, according to Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva. Schools were also closed Monday and Tuesday. Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified School District hasn't yet held its first day of classes.

Aug. 27, 8 a.m. -Rim Fire facts:

• Acres: 179,481

• Containment: 20 percent.

• Buildings destroyed: 31 residences, 80 outbuildings (higher numbers reflects Berkeley Family Camp, which burned Sunday).

• Personnel: 3,752

• Air support:15 helicopters, two DC-10s and other aircraft.

• Air quality: Still poor; schools are closed today in Tuolumne County.

Aug. 27, 7:15 a.m. - Tuolumne County administrators will hold a midday meeting to decide whether schools will remain closed Wednesday or not. A decision is expected at 1 p.m. All Tuolumne County Schools remain closed today, including ROP programs, according to Joe Silva, superintendent of Tuolumne County schools.

Aug. 26, 8:40 p.m. - The Rim Fire Incident Command tonight reports that the fire has grown to 160,980 acres.

Erratic gusty winds helped kick up fire activity during the day on the fire's most active fronts, including, in the northwest, in the areas of Paper Cabin Ridge and Duckwall Mountain. That portion of the fire threatensTuolumne City and other communities wedged between Highway 108 and the North Fork Tuolumne River canyon. The area is under an extended voluntary evecuation advisory, extended today. The advisory also took in communities farther up Highway 108, past Mi-Wuk Village to Pinecrest.

The fire is also very active to the southeast, south of Highway 120 in Yosemite National Park. Several park trails and attractions have been closed near the fire's edge. Most of the park, however, is functioning normally.

Notes the incident update: "Fire became very active early in the day. Very fast running surface fire quickly transitioned into sustained crown runs and long range spotting on the fires eastern and southeastern perimeters located inside as well as advancing towards Yosemite National Park. Fire activity was moderate over the Southwest and western perimeters. Fire became fairly active in the early afternoon along the northern perimeter with spot fires challenging suppression resources and requiring heavy support from aerial resources."

Aug. 26, 3:40 p.m. - Yosemite National Park released the following update on the Rim Fire's impacts inthe park:

TheBig Oak Flat Road(the continuation of Highway 120 inside Yosemite) andHighway 120 west of Yosemiteare closed betweenJ132 near Buck Meadows(outside the park) to Crane Flat Campground (inside the park). If you are trying to get to Yosemite from the west, use Highway 140 from Merced. You may also enter Yosemite via Highway 41 from the south and 120 from the east (Tioga Pass). Hetch Hetchy RoadandEvergreen Roadare closed. White Wolfis closed, including the lodge, campground, road, and trails originating from White Wolf. This area is closed due to smoky conditions. Crane Flat,Hodgdon Meadow CampgroundandHetch Hetchy Backpackers' Campgroundare closed. Merced and Tuolumne Grovesof Giant Sequoias are closed so firefighters can work on preventive fire suppression efforts. The groves are not currently in imminent danger. Wilderness trail closures:The area west of the May Lake Road and May Lake Trail continuing to the junction with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) at Glen Aulin and then north along the PCT to Bond Pass is closed. The park's boundary serves as the closure's northern and western edge extending south to Crane Flat Campground. The closure boundary continues east along the Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) to the May Lake Road. The Tioga Road and the trails serving as the eastern boundary of the closed area (including the PCT) remain open. May Lake High Sierra Camp, Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, and Porcupine Flat Campground are open. View amap showing the closure[1.2 MB PDF]. Fire restrictions:No smoking and no building, maintaining, or using a fire, campfire or cooking fire (including charcoal fires) within the Yosemite Wilderness and potential wilderness additions. Portable stoves using gas or pressuring liquid fuelareallowed. Alcohol and Sierra stoves arenotallowed. Campfires may still be used in designated campsites at designated campgrounds in non-wilderness areas within the park. All other roads and areas are open.Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and Tuolumne Meadows areas are all open. Campgrounds in Wawona, Bridalveil Creek, Yosemite Valley, Porcupine Flat, and Tuolumne Meadows are open.Aug. 26, 3:30 p.m. - A new evacuation advisory has been issued for the south side of Highway 108 corridor, this time from Coffill Road to Pinecrest, said Tuolumne County Sheriff's Spokesman Sgt. Scott Johnson.

Aug. 26, 1:45 p.m. -The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has authorized federal funds to assist California in battling the Rim Fire.

The state submitted a request for assistance for the Rim Fire on Aug. 23. FEMA funding can now reimburse up to 75 percent of the eligible firefighting costs under a grant, according to a Monday release from FEMA.

When the request was made, the fire was threatening 2,432 homes in and around the communities of Buck Meadows, Groveland, Mi-Wuk Village, Pine Mountain Lake, Ponderosa Hills, Tuolumne City, Twain Harte and Yosemite Vista.

Those areas have a combined population of 9,677. When California made its request to FEMA, mandatory evacuation orders had been issued for approximately 1,050 people. Voluntary orders had been issued for 2,846 people.

Costs eligible for reimbursement by the grant include expenses incurred by field camps, equipment maintenance, tools and supplies, and "mobilization and demobilization activities."

Aug. 26, 10:45 a.m. -The American Red Cross today issued a statement asking the public to withhold donations of supplies for the evacuation center at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

The center has continuously received donations and volunteers since it opened a week ago, according to the Red Cross. The Red Cross said it was thankful for the charity, but they have ample supplies. Those wanting to donate specifically to the Rim Fire can call 533-1513 or 916-933-7070. The organizations asks would-be volunteers to register online at www.redcross.org.

Aug. 26, 7:30 a.m. - The Rim Fire Sunday continued its northwest and eastern spread - toward communities along Highway 108 and North Tuolumne Road, and into Yosemite National Park's isolated western edge - and covered an area of about 149,780 acres, making it larger than 1987's Stanislaus Complex Fire.

The Rim Fire this morning was 15 percent contained. It has destroyed 23 structures, threatens 4,500 others and has cost $20.1 million to fight.

Aug. 26, 6:30 a.m. - The Rim Fire Sunday continued its northwest and eastern march, toward communities along Highway 108 and North Tuolumne Road, and into Yosemite National Park's isolated western edge, and covered an area of about 144,000 acres - making it about equal in size to 1987's Stanislaus Complex Fire.

The Rim Fire is 7 percent contained. It has destroyed 23 structures, threatens 4,500 others and has cost $20.1 million to fight.

Aug. 26, 7 a.m.- Columbia College is closed today and Tuesday, as are all other public schols in Tuolumne County, due to smoke.

Aug. 25, 5:15 p.m. - The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office has issued a mandatory evacuation for residences north of Old Yosemite Road (Forest Road 2S01). The Sheriff's Office also issued an evacuation warning for all residences north of Bull Creek Road (Forest Road 2S02), Bondurant Mine Road, Texas Hill Road and Wampum Hill.

Aug. 25, 3 p.m. - All Tuolumne County public schools, including Sonora High, will be closed Monday and Tuesday, according to school officials.

Aug. 25, 2:30 p.m. -All Tuolumne County public schools will be closed Monday, according to Tuolumne County Superintendent of Schools Joe Silva.

Silva said all schools will also be closed Tuesday except Sonora High School, which has not yet announced its plan for Tuesday.

Tuolumne County Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp said the recommendation to close schools was made by fire response personnel, air pollution control officials and the Tuolumne County Office of Education.

Poor air quality across the county is the primary reason for the closure, Stolp said. The other is the need for emergency services to have clearer access to local roads.

Aug. 25, 9:30 a.m. - The Rim Fire Incident Command reported 2,846 firefighters and support staff are assigned to the fire, which threatens 4,500 structures.

The fire is continuing to grow to the east and northeast. On the western side of the fire, crews were able to conduct firing operations to bring the fire line down to the Tuolumne River and protect the Highway 108 corridor. Aerial resources are also being used to reduce the spread of the fire toward the Highway 108 corridor. Crews continue to construct line construction where it is safe and accessible. Also, structure defense and contigency planning continue in the Mather area.

Due to smoke, visibility is less than a mile within the Rim Fire perimeter.

The Stanislaus National Forest issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108.

Highway 120 remains closed to all inbound and outbound Yosemite National Park traffic to Crane Flat campground. Highway 120 east/Tioga road remains open. Also closed are Graham Ranch Road, Smith Station at Highway 120, Cherry Lake at Highway 120 and Evergreen Road. Highway 120 from Ferretti Road to Buck Meadows remains open for only local residents and business.

Aug. 25, 7:40 a.m. - The Rim Fire Incident Command's morning report said the Rim Fire grew in the 24 hours between Saturday and Sunday mornings to 133,980 acres. It is 7 percent contained and has destroyed 23 structures. The cost of fighting the fire is $12.4 million to date. Also, 2,637 firefighters and support staff this morning were assigned to the fire.

Firefighting efforts today are still focused on the east side of the North Fork Tuolumne River - a north-south canyon stretching from Sherwood Forest/Twain Harte to Groveland. Maintaining that line is critical to protecting several Highway 108 and North Tuolumne Road communities includingMi-Wuk Village, Ponderosa Hills, Sherwood Forest, Soulsbyville,Sugar Pine, Tuolumne City and Willow Springs. Fire fighting efforts are also underway along the fire's east side, by Yosemite National Park, and fire lines are being maintained at Pine Mountain Lake.

Cooler temperatures - in the mid-80s - over the pats few dayshave helped slow the fire's spread. At the eastern flank, it is also encounting a lot of granite, whch slows its spread. A potential setback: The National Weather Service predicts winds of up to 14 mph today through Monday, and gusts up to 20 mph, in the fire area. The winds are forecast to drop to 10 mph Tuesday.

Aug. 25, 7:30 a.m. -Yosemite National Park workers are cleaning brush and setting sprinklers in an effort to protect two groves of giant sequoias, the Tuolumne and Merced groves, that are threatened by the fire, the Associated Press reports.

Aug. 25, 7 a.m. - The Mother Lode Fairgrounds Red Cross shelter for Rim Fire evacuees last night saw its first drop in usage as the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office last night dropped its evacuation "order" to an "advisory" for several areas - Units 11, 11A, and 12. There are still 18 homes under anevacuation order.

Aug. 25, 7 a.m.- The Calaveras County Fairgrounds opened its RV park to Tuolumne County residents under evacuation advisories for free. The park has 60 spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis. The fairgrounds are located at 101 Gun Club Road.

Aug.25, 7 a.m. - Highway 120 remains closed from the highwway's southern junction with Highway 49 to six miles west of the Yosemite National Park gate, according to Caltrans. Also, roads intoTuolumne City are closed to everyone but emergency personnel and residents.

Aug. 24, 10:00 p.m. - Fire size is 129,620 acres, 7% contained.

Aug. 24, 7:30 p.m. - Evacuation update for the Sheriff's Office: Pine Mountain Lake Areas 11, 11a and 12 have evacuation advisories that will be lifted when all residents return home.

An evacuation order is still in effect for 18 homes on Clements Road in The Graham Ranch area, beyond the cattle guard, because the fire is still too active there for people to safely return home.

There is no evacuation advisory in effect for the remainder of Pine Mountain Lake.

Aug. 24, 6 p.m. - Evacuation orders for Pine Mountain Lake units 11 and 12 have been lifted. An evacuation advisory remains in place for those units.

Aug. 24, 1 p.m. - WalMart and Staples remain closed due to smoke.

Aug. 24, - Community meeting scheduled at Sierra Bible Church at 2:00 p.m., Another meeting will be held at the Word of Life Church in Mi Wuk Village at 4 p.m.

Aug. 24, 12:30 p.m. - Traffic being restricted on North Tuolumne Road.

Aug. 24, 9 a.m. - Wal Mart is closed for now due to smoke.

Aug. 24, 7 a.m. - The morning report from the Rim Fire Incident Command puts the fire's acreage at 125,620. The fire is 5 percent contained. It is moving in all directions, but most agressively toward Yosemite National Park to the east and north-northeast in the direction of several communities along Highway 108.

Areas under evacuation advisories this morning include Tuolumne City, Ponderosa Hills, Mi-Wuk Village, Sherwood Forest, Soulsbyville,Sugar Pine, Willow Springs, and Tuolumne City. Units 11, 11A, 12 at PML is under evacuation order. The remainder of PML is under evacuation advisement.

Property damage estimates have grown to 11 residences and 12 outbuildings. The higher number reflected houses found burned in the area of Spinning Wheel, off Cherry Lake Road. Some 4,500 residences are threatened in the county. Only 1 injury has been reported.

The fire is exepected to grow agressively later today as the air heats up, according to Forest Service spokesman Jerry Snyder.

In morning report, CalFire, which is jointly overseeing the fire response with the U.S. Forest Service, said the Rim Fire is the 16th largest fire in recorded Califonria history.

Aug. 24, 7 a.m. - The Red Cross reports 175 people stayed overnight at the shelter established at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

Aug. 24 6:50 a.m. - A second fire camp is being established in Tuolumne City this morning. It will be staffed initally with 380 people but could grow up to 2,000 people - firefighters and support staff, according to the county Office of Emenergency Services. The IC post remains at Drew Meadow.

Aug. 23, 9 p.m. - Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for the City and County of San Francisco, because of threats to the city of San Francisco water and power systems.

Aug 23, 7 p.m. – Expanded closure order was issued Friday night by the U.S. Forest Service. Most of the Mi-Wuk Ranger District south of Highway 108 is closed to the public. Most of the Groveland Ranger District is also closed to the public. The areas are closed until the fire is deemed fully out - which could be weeks or months from now. Violators of the orders can be fined $5,000 and be sentenced to 6 months in jail.

Aug. 23, 6 p.m. -The area under advisory evacuation notice has expanded to include the communities of Sugar Pine and Mi-Wuk, according to the fire communication line. Earlier this afternoon, firefighting officials placed the communities of Willow Springs, Soulsbyville, Sherwood Forrest, Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills under an advisory evacuation notice.

Aug. 23, 4:54 p.m. -The Tuolumne Utilities District is asking all customers to cease any outdoor watering or irrigation as the fight continues against the Rim Fire in the areas around Groveland, Tuolumne and the Stanilsaus National Forest.

In a statement to the public, TUD general Manager Pete Kampa said the conservation measure is necessary to make sure district water storage tanks remain full.

"This is a proactive measure we are taking in case more water is needed due to the Rim Fire," Kampa stated.

TUD will post updates about its water supply situation and advisories to local water customers at tudwater.com.

Aug. 23, 4:25 p.m. -The area under evacuation advisory has expanded this afternoon. According to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, the communities of Willow Springs, Soulsbyville and the Sherwood Forest area along Tuolumne Road off Highway 108 have been advised.

An advisory is issued to areas where the potential exists for an evacuation order. An evacuation order is issued when there is an immediate threat to life and/or property. The Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills areas are also under an evacuation advisory, Sheriff's Office Spokesman Scott Johnson said moments ago. An evacuation order for that area was erroneously posted this afternoon on the officialinformation page for the Rim Fire maintained by the National Forest Service and has since been removed.

Johnson also said that the roads heading into and out of Tuolumne City are now closed to the public and only accessible to community members, firefighters and law enforcement. That includes for the Black Oak Casino Resort on the outskirts of Tuolumne.

"You cannot get into Tuolumne City unless you're a resident," Johnson said.

Aug. 23, 3:53 p.m. -An evacuation advisory is in effect for Tuolumne City and Ponderosa Hills, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office. An evacuation advisory is a voluntary evacuation notice, meaning affected residents are advised to leave if they can or be aware of the potential for an evacuation order, according to fire officials.

An evacuation order notice, a more severe level of evacuation, was erroneously posted on the official incident websitehttp://www.inciweb.org/incident/3660/at approximately 3 p.m. today.

Aug. 23, 3:40 p.m. -Columbia College has cancelled its first day of classes on the main campus Monday, Aug. 26 due to the impact of the Rim Fire on students and staff, according to the college president's office. The gate to the campus will be closed.

However, classes at the college's locations in Calaveras County and Oakdale will continue as planned.

The main campus's courses are now scheduled to start Tuesday, Aug. 27. For updates, call 588-5100 and press 1 for campus conditions, or visit the college website at www.gocolumbia.edu.

Aug. 23, 2 p.m. -The Sonora Area Foundation is joining the effort for Rim Fire relief. Foundation Executive Director Ed Wyllie announced today that the foundation is accepting donations for the firefighting and recovery efforts.

Donations can be made by sending a check to the Sonora Area Foundation with "Rim Fire Recovery" in the memo line. Send donations to 362 S. Stewart St., Sonora, 95370 or drop them off at the same location. Online donations will also be accepted at www.sonora-area.org for a local emergency services support fund.

Wyllie said the foundation has also given grants to Catholic Charities and the local American Red Cross for fire relief.

"One hundred percent of the donations received at the foundation will be granted to help recovery efforts," Wyllie stated.

Aug. 23, 2 p.m. - The Sonora office of the American Red Cross has been inundated with phone calls and would like to list alternate sources of information for particular topics.

To see if a relative or loved one has checked into the evacuation center, visithttps://safeandwell.communityos.org/zf/safesearch/search

For animal questions or to offer shelter and land for evacuated animals, call the Tuolumne County Animal Control at 694-2703.

For air quality questions or concerns, call the Tuolumne County Air District at 533-5693.

For large food donations, call a volunteer at 559-5135.

For general volunteering, call the evacuation center at 206-1134. If that line is busy, call the Sonora Red Cross office at 533-1513.

Aug. 23, 1:25 p.m. - The Twain Harte Film Fest has been cancelled due to the Rim Fire as of Friday afternoon, according to Christine Ravely, primary media contact for the event.

It will not be rescheduled for 2013 but should continue in 2014.

Aug. 23, 12:51 p.m. - Meals & Wheels at Railtown Saturday, August 24 has been cancelled. Rescheduling to be determined.

Aug. 23, 12:15 p.m. - Some citizens have been wary to leave their homes for the possibility of being hit by looters.

Sgt. Scott Johnson of the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office said anywhere evacuated right now will have more law enforcement presence than it would on any regular day.

He confirmed that sometimes firefighters, which can wear less distinguishable clothing, will deliver evacuation notices.

"But you can always ask for their identification," he said. Firefighters should have a department ID on them.

"That's why we asked for law enforcement aid," Johnson said, referring to the wave of police officers sent from the Sacramento area who will assist in serving evacuation notices and protecting the areas afterward.

Aug. 23, 12:00 p.m. -Sonora Union High School District is releasing students at 12:30 p.m. to free up school buses that may aid in evacuating Tuolumne County residents in the path of the Rim Fire.

Sonora High Principal Todd Dearden said Sonora High's buses are part of the county's emergency transportation plan and that they could be needed later for evacuees.

"The smoke is moderately affecting us, but they need our buses," Dearden said.

Belleview Elementary School is closing at 12:45 p.m. due to thick smoke from the Rim Fire, according to Belleview School District staff.

Summerville Union High School District, Summerville Elementary School and Mother Lode Christian School have all cancelled classes today.

Big Oak Flat-Groveland Unified School District cancelled its first day of school earlier this week due to concerns about smoke and the behavior of the fire. It remained cancelled today.

Curtis Creek School District staff said they were "assessing" the situation to decide about closure.

All other Tuolumne County schools, including Twain Harte School and Soulsbyville School, remain in session.

Aug. 23, 11 a.m. - Belleview Elementary School is closing at 12:45 p.m. due to thick smoke from the Rim Fire, according to Belleview School District staff. Sonora High was also canceled, effective 12:30 p.m., and the buses have been deployed to help with evacuations in Tuolumne City. Summerville Union High School District, Summerville Elementary School and Mother Lode Christian School have all cancelled classes today.

Aug 23, 11 a.m. - Black Oak Casino in Tuolumne said the casino and hotel are not going to evacuate as of 11 a.m. and business will continue as normal until further notice.