Highway 120, closed by wildfire, reopens today

09/06/2013 9:47 AM

09/06/2013 9:50 AM

UPDATE: Highway 120 into Yosemite National Park will reopen at noon today, authorities said.

The highway through Groveland will be open to all traffic, but stopping along the roadway is prohibited.

"The public is advised to use extreme caution as firefighting activities continue in this area," park rangers said in a statement issued this morning. Cherry Lake Road, Evergreen Road, Old Yosemite Road, Harden Flat and all other secondary roads and trailheads off of Highway 120 remain closed.

The highway also remains closed from Crane Flat to White Wolf within the park.

The Rim fire grew overnight, climbing a spot in the chart of largest wildfires in state history. The fire, burning in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties since Aug. 17, has consumed 246,350 acres and remains 80 percent contained, the United States Forest Service said this morning.

According to authorities, fire activity increased within containment lines in unburned portions of the blaze on Thursday.

Roughly 3,600 firefighters remain on site, battling the blaze that broke out Aug. 17, the result of a hunter's illegal fire.

Hot and dry weather accompanied by gusty south and southeast winds are expected to persist through the weekend, officials said.

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