California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency for Tuolumne County, Calif. after a wildfire near Yosemite National Park tripled in size Thursday.
According to data from the National Interagency Fire Center, the "Rim Fire" grew from 16,228 acres on Wednesday to 63,336 acres on Thursday. The fire is only 1 percent contained from 5 percent the day before. The cost to fight the blaze jumped to $5.4 million from $2.8 million the day before.
Fire crews from all over the Bay Area were dispatched to Tuolumne County, reported KPIX-TV. Teams from Oakland, Fremont, the East Bay Regional Parks District and Hayward fire departments added to the more than 700 personnel added between Wednesday and Thursday, according to the NICF.
According to an incident report site, the Rim Fire's steep terrain is "inaccessible." Fire crews will use a combination of direct and indirect methods to attack the blaze.
The Rim Fire's heavy smoke was impacting the quality of life as much as 150 miles north near Reno, Nev. and surrounding areas. The Washoe County Health Department issued an air quality advisory from Thursday through Sunday after the air quality index surged into the unhealthy range.
The AQI on Friday was 148 – in the unhealthy for sensitive groups range – and was forecasted to drop into the moderate range on Saturday.
The city of San Francisco declared a state of emergency due to the fire, KNTV-TV reported. City officials said San Francisco Public Utilities Commission's power and communications assets were damaged. The assets were linked to the Hetch Hetchy Water and Power System which draws power from a Yosemite reservoir.
The Rim Fire threatens 2,500 structures in the surrounding areas. The temperature is expected to be between the low 60s and 70s throughout the weekend with humidity between 20 and 50 percent, according to the National Weather Service.
The Rim fire is one of more than 50 wildfires currently plaguing the West. The NICF reported more than 32,000 fires this year covering nearly 3.5 million acres, 60 percent of the ten year average.
The U.S. Forest Service reported their funds were running low and were diverting $600 million from timber, recreation and other areas to help fight the surge of wildfires. The agency was down to $50 million in reserves after spending more than $960 million so far this year.