Thick smoke from the Rim Fire blaze has begun drifting into the Yosemite Valley, a popular scenic destination for visitors to the Yosemite National Park.
Nearly 3,500 firefighters continue to battle the massive blaze that has consumed more than 253,000 acres since its start on Aug. 17. The blaze is now the third-largest wildfire in California history.
Last Thursday, the Incident Information System confirmed in a news release that the fire began on Aug. 17 after a hunter allowed an illegal fire to escape.
Investigators from the U.S. Forest Service Law Enforcement and the Tuolumne County District Attorney's Office said they are withholding the hunter's name pending further investigation.
No arrests have been made at this time. Additionally, there have been no indications that the hunter was involved with any illegal marijuana cultivation, the Forest Service said.
The fire, now 80 percent contained, has resulted in poor air quality for many surrounding areas.
"Visitors to Yosemite should expect periods of smoky conditions, depending on winds and fire behavior," the National Park's Air Quality and Smoke Monitoring page read on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, the fire grew a total of 1,700 acres as southwest transport winds pushed smoke into communities northeast of the fire, including Pinecrest, Bear Valley, Markleeville, Minden, Carson City and the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Skies cleared in Sonora, the Yosemite Valley, El Portal and the San Joaquin Valley.
Until the end of August, the Yosemite National Park stressed on social media that conditions remained clear in most heavily-trafficked areas. The Yosemite Valley had seen few effects of the fire until Aug. 31.
However, some progress has been made as Friday afternoon, Highway 120 from Groveland to Yosemite National Park reopened to visitors.
Despite the road's reopening, visitors are prohibited to stop along the roadway due to continued fire activity.
Approximately 2,490 structures remain threatened to the south, southeast and north of the fire, and 111 structures have already been destroyed.
Comments that don't add to the conversation may be automatically or manually removed by Facebook or AccuWeather. Profanity, personal attacks, and spam will not be tolerated.
A powerful earthquake shook the Philippines, bringing the threat for a tsunami near the epicenter of the quake.
The beginning of May will bring another resurgence of dangerous heat across India as the nation continues to wait for the summer monsoon to bring lasting heat relief.
During and after a severe thunderstorm threat, flooding will be a major threat to lives and property over thousands of square miles from Oklahoma and Arkansas to Missouri and Indiana into next week.
While the recent cold snap will be over, bouts of rain will persist and threaten to disrupt outdoor plans across the United Kingdom during the Bank Holiday weekend.
Areas along a 900-mile swath from the southern Plains to the Ohio Valley will face potentially damaging and life-threatening severe weather into Saturday.
Trees benefit our environment by cleaning air and water and reducing energy needs.
Milder air will erase the recent chill and snow across Germany by May Day, though rain threatens to spoil the holiday for western and southern areas.
Gov. Jerry Brown recently lifted the drought emergency in California, but certain restrictions remain in effect in anticipation of future droughts.