A wildfire near Yosemite National Park that has claimed one life continued to grow overnight to 17,319 acres, burning through steep, rugged forest where patches of dead trees and brush have been gathering for decades, officials said.
The Ferguson fire remained 5% contained as of Wednesday morning while crews made progress in preventing the fire from crossing into the communities of Mariposa Pines and Jerseydale, officials said. Mandatory evacuations remained in place Wednesday, but no new ones were issued.
After battling the blaze amid dry heat and light winds, crews were preparing for a possible thunderstorm Wednesday, which could bring some relief but also pose increased risk, said Mike Beasley, a fire behavior analyst for the U.S. Forest Service.
The fire is burning through terrain that is both extremely difficult to access and filled with dead brush, pine needles and trees — areas easily ignited by drifting embers.
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