Thousands of firefighters have descended upon the “Rim Fire” blazing in Yosemite National Park. A new online tool launched by Southern California radio station KPCC allows visitors to monitor the progress of the inferno and those struggling to contain the disaster. The site also keeps track of structures threatened, damaged, and the total number of injuries. Statistics on recent fires are available for comparison, and conditions and road closures are updated regularly. The massive fire has already burned an area the size of Chicago, consuming over 160,000 acres at time of press.
According to the Los Angeles Times, rough terrain and erratic winds have made wildfire extremely difficult to battle, with gusts blowing at over 15mph in some areas. The “Rim Fire” poses a threat to the power and drinking water supplies for San Francisco which has been under a state of emergency since Friday. Earlier in the week, two hydroelectric power stations were forced to shut down in the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, and there is no timetable as to when they will once again become operational.
Images via KPCC and the California National Guard.