Yosemite to re­open Fri­day af­ter smoke forced clo­sure

San Francisco Chronicle Late Edition - - BAY AREA - By Gre­gory Thomas Gre­gory Thomas is the Chronicle's ed­i­tor of life­style and out­doors. Email: gth­omas@sfchron­i­cle.com. Twit­ter: @GregRThoma­s

Yosemite Na­tional Park, which closed Sept. 17 due to haz­ardous air qual­ity, will re­open on Fri­day, ac­cord­ing to a park an­nounce­ment.

The Creek Fire burn­ing south of Yosemite had sent smoke into the park for days be­fore the clo­sure. Yosemite Val­ley’s grand land­scape was es­sen­tially hid­den to vis­i­tors be­hind an im­pen­e­tra­ble smoky cur­tain and the air had be­come a public health is­sue. Park man­agers re­sponded by shut­ting down to traf­fic and vis­i­tors. Park spokesman Scott Ged­i­man said he be­lieved it was the first time in his­tory the park had to close en­tirely due to smoke and fire con­di­tions.

Road­ways into and through the park re­opened to traf­fic ear­lier this week, but the park has re­mained closed to vis­i­tors.

The park will re­open Fri­day with “some vis­i­tor ser­vices” avail­able, ac­cord­ing to the an­nounce­ment, with the rest com­ing back on­line over the week­end. Reser­va­tions for day passes, camp­sites and lodg­ing will be­come avail­able on Fri­day as well. Camp­site book­ings can be made via recre­ation.gov.

Chuck Ben­nett / As­so­ci­ated Press

Smoke from the Creek Fire brought vis­i­bil­ity in Yosemite Val­ley to the point where the canyon walls could not be seen.

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