Evacuations ordered, roads closed in fire south of Yosemite
California Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for a fast-moving wildfire burning in the rugged mountains outside of Yosemite National Park.
Brown announced the emergency Tuesday. It comes in response to a fire in Mariposa County that has forced thousands of residents to leave their homes.
The fire in Mariposa County started Sunday and quickly burned 24 square miles. Firefighters say they have it 5 percent contained.
The declaration allows the state to direct its resources to battle the fire that's expected to grow.
Fire officials say that record rain and snow this winter have cause grasses to grow thick, providing extra fuel for wildfires throughout the state.
Tall grass from a deluge of winter rains is fueling wildfires throughout the Western U.S., damaging more than a dozen homes in Nevada and threatening hundreds more structures in California.
The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on Tuesday ordered evacuations for some residents living southwest of Yosemite National Park.
Calfire spokeswoman DeeDee Garcia says a wildfire burning on steep hills covered by dense grass and forestland threatens roughly 300 structures.
She says the fire is miles from Yosemite, but some roads popular to park visitors are closed.
Authorities in Nevada say about 14 homes were damaged or destroyed by a wildfire that started Monday in a rural, northeastern corner of the state.
Officials have lifted an evacuation advisory, allowing hundreds of people to return home and assess damage.