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Fire near Yosemite Park now 75 percent contained; 800 fighting blaze

by KFSN-TV news staff |

FRESNO, Calif. – Fire crews held their ground over the Briceburg Fire overnight and gained more containment over the flames.

Cal Fire reported Monday the fire is now at 5,563 acres and 75 percent contained. More than 800 firefighters are working to control the blaze.

Highway 140 reopened at 6 p.m. Sunday. Since crews are still working in the area, authorities reminded drivers to be cautious and aware of possible debris in the roadway.

One structure has been destroyed.

The Mariposa County Sheriff's Office says all mandatory evacuations and fire advisements were lifted at 1 p.m. Friday.

It is still unclear what sparked the fire, which is burning near the area of last year's devastating Ferguson Fire. The Ferguson burn scar could help firefighters with their effort because many of the fuels are no longer consumable, but it still poses a risk for the things that have grown into what crews called “light, flashy fuels.”

Cal Fire officials said the biggest challenge for firefighters is the steep and rugged terrain that's nearly inaccessible for them, so their strongest line of defense is coming from the air.

Conditions allowed Cal Fire’s crews to increase containment overnight.

Some ignited controlled fires and burned the unburned fuels between the body of the fire and the containment lines, to ensure the fire does not cross the containment lines on its own and catch them unprepared. Others continued to douse the flames from above.