Crews increase containment of Yosemite wildfire to 95 percent, highway reopens


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YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California — Fire crews have significantly increased their containment of a fire at the edge of Yosemite National Park where an air-tanker pilot fighting the blaze died last week.

The fire has burned 311 acres and was 95 percent contained Sunday, the National Park Service said.

The park service said State Highway 140, which leads visitors into the park's main valley, reopened Sunday. The road was closed after an air tanker hit the canyon wall and disintegrated, with pieces landing on the highway.

Fire investigators found that the blaze broke out Tuesday after hot metal fragments from a vehicle created sparks, the park service said.

Meanwhile, a blaze along Interstate 80 in the small community of Applegate, about 40 miles northeast of Sacramento, remained at 459 acres and 67 percent contained, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said.

Mandatory evacuations were suspended Sunday but an evacuation warning remains after the fire destroyed 6 homes and threated 400 more, the department said.

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