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August 27th, 2013
06:12 AM ET

Fire Near Yosemite Still Out of Control

A massive wildfire continues to burn near Yosemite National Park, posing a threat to a landmark that attracts thousands of tourists each year.

Scorching up to more than 160 thousand acres now, huge plumes of smoke fill the sky as the Rim Fire rages out of control from crews attempting to reign it in.

“Firefighters made small progress on Monday, saying the fire is still less than a quarter contained, but the dangerous inferno is still rated to have extreme ‘growth’ potential as massive flames ignite rows of trees and dry brush,” reports CNN’s Nick Valencia.

“Nearly two dozen aircraft are being used to fight the fire, the steep terrain making it nearly impossible to access some of the forest by land.”

Turning camp grounds to ashes and even charring a car in its path, the Rim Fire also threatens a reservoir that supplies both water and power sources for San Francisco, as well as several groves of towering ancient sequoias.

Close to the frontlines, Groveland, California is starting to resemble a ghost town.

The owner of one bar says it is peak season leads into Labor Day, but with the highway closed into Yosemite, her business in Groveland is down a staggering 98%.

"Everyone who lives here and owns businesses here is terrified," Iron Door Saloon owner Corinna Loh says.

While the economic impact yet to be seen, businesses and residents are grateful for the 3,700 firefighters risking their lives to try and contain the blaze.

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