El Portal campgrounds begin opening

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

Bridalveil Campground and part of Crane Flat Campground have been reopened while crews mop up the fully-contained El Portal Fire.

The fire - discovered July 26 - was fully contained late Monday night at 4,689 acres. It prompted evacuations of Foresta and Old El Portal and closed Big Oak Flat Road, all now lifted.

The fire closed Bridalveil, Crane Flat and Yosemite Creek campgrounds. Late this morning, incident command announced Bridalveil and the top two loops of Crane Flat were open, while the remainder of Crane Flat and all of Yosemite Creek Campground remain closed.

A specialized Burned Area Emergency Response team arrived today and will help apply emergency rehabilitation measures, including roadside work to minimize erosion and chipping large amounts of slash from fire lines.

Smoke continues to be an issue in the area, and children, senior citizens and those with health issues may want to leave the area, according to air quality officials on the incident command team.

The fire's cause is still under investigation.

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