The Rim Fire, day 22

rim fire

Smoke from the Rim Fire, photographed from the Glacier Point road some 30 miles south.  The photograph fails to convey the sense of scale of the smoke plume, even at this distance.

On day 22, the blaze is 80% contained.  It has burned 394 square miles of timber, watershed, and wildlife habitat.  More than 3,600 firefighters are on the lines, and efforts to contain this 3d largest fire in California history have cost $89 million to date.

A team of 50 scientists is moving into the burn area to assess erosion and mudslide dangers once the rainy season comes.  Of particular concern are the Tuolumne River and Hetch Hetchy Reservoir which provides drinking water to 2.8 million people in the greater San Francisco area.

The fire began when a hunter’s illegal campfire burned out of control.

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