El Portal Fire Day 5: Containment at 34 percent

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

Firefighters are getting a handle on the El Portal Fire burning in Yosemite National Park and evacuations for the cabin community of Old El Portal have been lifted.

The fire grew another 500 acres on Tuesday, putting the total acreage burned now at 3,545, according to a National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service update this morning.

Containment was estimated at 34 percent.

Firefighters have been most successful in containing the fire on its southern, western and eastern flanks, which means it is generally moving away from residential areas into a more-remote part of Yosemite National Park.

Fire officials remain concerned about the fire's growth to the north and northeast, toward Big Oak Flat Road leading into Yosemite Valley, according to an incident-command team update Tuesday night.

Complicating matters, firefighters are working against steep, rugged terrain, as well as high temperatures and low humidity.

Daytime temperatures are forecast to be in the 100s over the next few days and sporadic thunderstorms could crop up on the fire's east flank. The chance of lightning is 20 percent today and Thursday in Yosemite.

The park did not receive rain or significant lightning Tuesday night.

For the complete story, see the July 30, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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