Firefighters slow California blaze
LOS ANGELES — Crews contending with triple-digit temperatures slowed the spread of an aggressive wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in a rural area of California near Yosemite National Park, officials said Sunday.
As of Sunday, the weekold blaze had scorched about 118 square miles of dense brush and dead trees in the Sierra Nevada foothills. Many evacuated residents were allowed to return, but flames continued to threaten about 1,500 homes in Mariposa County.
The fire was 40 percent contained, but officials said it could take crews another two weeks to fully surround it.
Nearly 4,500 firefighters have fought the blaze using air tankers and fleets of helicopters and bulldozers.
The fire grew by as much as 47 square miles a day at its peak. By the weekend, the growth rate had slowed despite hot, dry weather, fire spokesman Brandon Vaccaro said.
Smoke blurred the scenic vistas of Yosemite National Park, about 35 miles east of the fire. Some roads remained closed.