sequoia-and-yosemite-national-parks-closed-due-to-california-wildfires

California’s Sequoia National Park has been fully closed due to a nearby wildfire in the Sierra Nevada wilderness.

The action this week came after the park headquarters and the community of Three Rivers at the park’s southern entrance were put on evacuation notice, according to a statement.

“To ensure any pending evacuation goes as smoothly as possible we are closing the park to visitors,” Acting Superintendent Lee Taylor said.

Campground reservations are being canceled and refunded.

To the north, Yosemite National Park was also closed Thursday due to significant smoke impacts from wildfires. Officials say there is hazardous air quality throughout Yosemite and the park won’t reopen until it is safe.

Sequoia National Park, home to its giant namesake trees, is threatened by the Castle Fire, part of the SQF Complex of fires ignited by lightning in the Sierra National Forest.

Burning since Aug. 19, the complex has scorched nearly 192 square miles — 128,000 acres — of forest and was just 12% contained on Thursday. The fire has destroyed 150 structures and threatens more than 3,400 others.

Kings Canyon National Park, immediately to the north of Sequoia, was also closed.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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