Yosemite Wildfire Containment Is in Sight Despite Growth

Fire crews have contained 30 percent of the Rim Fire and expect it to be under control by Sept. 10.

 Firefighter Russell Mitchell monitors a back burn during the Rim Fire on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013., near Yosemite National Park, Calif. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

Firefighter Russell Mitchell monitors a back burn near Yosemite National Park.

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Though the Rim Fire has ravaged more than 190,000 acres near Yosemite National Park in California since it began nearly two weeks ago, the rate of growth has slowed and firefighters expect to have it fully contained by Sept. 10, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

[GALLERY: Rim Fire Threatens Yosemite, San Francisco]

Last week, efforts to suppress the Rim Fire seemed bleak - the blaze grew nearly 50,000 acres in one day and firefighters had only contained 1 percent of the wildfire by the end of Thursday. Firefighters have now contained 30 percent of the blaze, though it has grown 50,000 acres since Monday.

Firefighters set sprinkler lines around the perimeter of a grove of giant sequoias.

Firefighters estimate about 4,500 structures remain threatened, according to an incident report. The blaze is expected to spread east into the west side of Yosemite National Park.

Crews were preparing back burning operations to slow the blaze's advancement toward the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, which provides drinking water to 2.4 million people in San Francisco. This tactic involves setting controlled fires along a vegetation gap in order to reduce the amount of flammable material in the wildfire's path, keeping it from spreading further into a designated area.

A videographer records the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif.

The Los Angeles Times reported firefighters taking advantage of an unmanned drone to give them real-time alerts to spot fires over the course of a 20-hour mission throughout Wednesday. The drone was equipped with infrared heat sensors and a swiveling camera operated by a pilot.

[READ: Rim Fire Threatens Water Supply]

The Rim Fire is now the sixth largest wildfire in California history. The largest, a 2003 San Diego blaze, burned more than 270,000 acres and resulted in 14 deaths.

The cost to fight the Rim Fire has surged to nearly $40 million. Its cause is currently under investigation.

The plume of carbon monoxide pollution from the Rim Fire is visible Monday.

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