Rim fire now fourth-largest in state history

local@modbee.comSeptember 8, 2013 

The Rim fire grew to 224,777 acres Sunday as more than 5,100 firefighters and other personnel continued to battle the 2-week-old wildfire that was at 40 percent containment.

Fire officials said Sunday it has become the fourth-largest wildfire in state history and full containment is expected Sept. 20.

An evacuation advisory for communities east of Highway 108 in Tuolumne County, from Ponderosa Hills to Pinecrest, remained in effect. The fire started Aug. 17 and has destroyed 11 homes, three commercial buildings and 97 outbuildings. The cost of fighting the fire stands at $66 million.

Highway 120 leading into Yosemite National Park remains closed past Groveland.

Authorities are warning residents in communities near the fire — such as Groveland, Tuolumne City, Pinecrest, Columbia and Sonora — of poor air quality in the morning hours because of the smoke from the fire.

Authorities advise the young, elderly and sick to limit their time outdoors when the air quality is bad.

They have issued mandatory and advisory evacuations for several thousand people since the fire started, and 4,500 homes remain threatened.

Evacuation centers have been set up at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds in Sonora and at the Greeley Hill Community Center.

For more information, go to www.inciweb.org/incident/3660.

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