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Travel industry news

16 Aug 2018

BY Tom Parry


Yosemite reopens amid US west coast wildfires

Yosemite National Park has reopened to visitors as authorities continue to battle blazes in part of California and Oregon.

Redwood Trees Mariposa Grove Yosemite National Park 2 - half.jpg

In a travel update, the Foreign Office said areas in and around Shasta, Lake, and Mendocino Counties in northern California, and Orange County in southern California had been “particularly affected” by the blazes.


“Wildfires can spread swiftly, so if you’re in the area you should remain vigilant, monitor local media reports, and follow the instructions issued by local authorities, including obeying any evacuation orders. Further information can be found at CalFire and the Oregon Wildfires & Forest Fires websites,” the FCO added.


Visit California said that despite the fires, all major airports and roadways were open across California and less than 1% of the state’s total land mass had been affected.


“In the affected regions, wildfires have caused road closures, some attraction closures and air quality concerns,” the tourist board said, although it added that, “the majority of

California remains a safe and accessible place to visit.”


The state’s Highway 140 has reopened allowing access to attractions such as the Valley Floor, Mariposa Grove and Wawona.


According to Visit California, The Ferguson Fire, located in Yosemite itself, was currently 86% contained, however, it said motorists were urged to drive safely as firefighters are still working in the area.


The connection between The Mariposa Grove and the Valley Floor via Highway 41 will remain closed for another week and several other attractions in the area also remain closed, including Hetch Hetchy and Glacier Point.


All Yosemite National Park lodging will also be reopening, with a delay in opening for The Big Trees Lodge (Wawona) until Highway 41 can be fully re-opened, Visit California explained.


The properties on Highway 140 and 120, which offer direct access to Yosemite and were evacuated and closed for a month, all reopened earlier this week.


Tourism to Mendocino County "remains 100% operational", Visit California said, with all major highways, lodging and attractions unaffected despite the edge of wildfires located in the region’s wilderness areas.

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