Yosemite Valley was reopened for the first time in weeks on Tuesday morning, but some visitors may have been surprised to see a burning hillside along El Portal Road, a key entryway into the famed glacial valley.
Officials at Yosemite National Park had listed the official reopening time as 9 a.m., but a steady stream of light traffic began entering the valley hours earlier.
On Monday evening, helicopter crews worked steadily to stamp out the Ferguson fire as it burned along a hillside near the Merced River. They repeatedly maneuvered their buckets down into the river, avoiding nearby boulders and trees.
Highway 140, which becomes El Portal Road once inside the park, will be one of the only open routes into Yosemite Valley on Tuesday. But it’s also near one of the last challenges that firefighters face in ending the Ferguson fire.
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