National

Sep 4, 2013 9:04 AM by Lacey Steele

Rim Fire in California reaches 80% containment

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) - Crews have pushed forward with building containment lines around the wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park as authorities lift evacuation orders and advisories for several Sierra Nevada communities once threatened by the massive blaze.

Officials said they still are investigating the cause of the fire, which started 18 days ago in an isolated area of the Stanislaus National Forest and has burned nearly 370 square miles, the fourth biggest recorded wildfire in California.

With higher humidity and lower temperatures, the fire reached 80% containment, prompting the sheriff's offices in Tuolumne and Mariposa counties to lift evacuation advisories for communities with several thousand structures in the fire's path.

Officials said 111 structures, including 11 homes, have been destroyed. More than 4,300 firefighters are still battling the blaze.

Although no cause has been announced, one local fire chief speculated the fire might have ignited in an illegal marijuana grow.

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