26 Aug 2013

Fire continues to rage in Yosemite

8:11 pm on 26 August 2013

Firefighters in California are struggling to gain control of a huge wildfire that has reached the edge of Yosemite National Park.

The Rim Fire covers an area of nearly 526 square kilometres and threatens a major reservoir serving San Francisco.

The BBC reports the fire is now 7% contained, officials say, up from 2% on Friday.

However, officials say strong winds could hamper efforts to control the blaze further.

More than 5000 homes are endangered by the blaze, which began on 17 August in the Stanislaus National Forest.

More than 2,700 firefighters are tackling the flames in difficult terrain.

Evacuations, some voluntary and some mandatory, are taking place. Despite the threat to thousands of homes, only a few have been destroyed.

San Francisco's water supplies could be affected if the blaze reaches Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which supplies the city with 85% of its water. The fire is burning 6.5 kilometres away from the reservoir, which serves 2.6 million customers.