23 Aug 2013

Out-of-control blaze threatens Yosemite

9:10 pm on 23 August 2013

An out-of-control wildfire near California's Yosemite National Park, in the United States, is covering more than 200 square kilometres and spreading rapidly.

The week-old Rim Fire is threatening several thousand homes, and California Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency, the BBC reports.

The fire comprises more than 50 blazes, and those whose homes are in its path can only watch as they race across the hillsides.

More than 1300 firefighters have been deployed but they are yet to gain control of the blaze which is threatening a park which is regarded as one of America's national treasures.

The blaze is centred on Stanislaus National Forest, west of Yosemite, and has so far destroyed two homes and seven outbuildings.

But the authorities are warning that at least 2500 homes, hotels, businesses and several campsites are under threat.

Officials have gone door-to-door in the summer community of Pine Mountain Lake urging people to leave.