Wildfires are tearing through Yosemite National Park and the photos look like a post-apocalyptic nightmare

Facebook/Joe SuarezThe Ferguson Fire has forced California authorities to close parts of Yosemite National Park.
  • The Ferguson Fire has forced California authorities to close parts of Yosemite National Park.
  • More than 3,000 firefighters are struggling to control the blaze, which has spread to 38,000 acres and has ravaged the Yosemite area for nearly two weeks.
  • Photos show thick clouds of smoke billowing across the park and flames engulfing anything in their path.

Authorities in California shut down parts of Yosemite National Park on Wednesday as wildfires spread across the region.

As of Tuesday evening, firefighters contained 25% of the Ferguson Fire, which has ravaged the Yosemite area for nearly two weeks. One firefighter was killed in the blaze July 14, and six others have been injured. More than 3,300 firefighters are working to contain the fire.

It’s the first time that the Yosemite Valley section of the park has been closed due to a fire in almost 30 years, according to USA Today.

Photos of the 38,000-acre fire show Yosemite covered in thick clouds of smoke as flames engulf trees, branches, and anything else in their way.

Read on to see what firefighters are facing in California:


More than 3,000 firefighters have been working around the clock to control the Ferguson Fire, which has been ravaging the Yosemite National Park area for nearly two weeks.

Facebook/City of Turlock Fire Department

Source: USA Today


The 38,000-acre fire has forced authorities to close four areas of the park as of Wednesday morning: Yosemite Valley, Wawona, Mariposa Grove, and Merced Grove.

Facebook/Joe Suarez

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


Firefighters are braving temperatures of 100 degrees on the ground.

Facebook/Rinad Grace

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


On top of that, thick smoke is limiting the effectiveness of helicopters and aeroplanes fighting from above.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle


This is the typical view of El Capitan, a famous Yosemite rock formation, on a clear day.

David Calvert/Getty Images

Source: Getty Images


Here’s what it looked like on Monday.

Twitter/Yosemite National Park

Source: Yosemite National Park


Even the view of the moon has been tinged by dark smoke.

Facebook/David Hoffman

Source: Facebook


Many of the areas where the fire is raging are inaccessible by road, making the firefighters’ task even more daunting.


One firefighter, 36-year-old Braden Varney of Mariposa, California, was killed fighting the blaze on July 14.

Source: The Modesto Bee


Inmate firefighters from California state prisons have been enlisted to clear brush to create fire breaks — strips of open land that fires can’t cross.

Source: NBC News


The closures come at a terrible time for Yosemite: July is peak tourism season, and between hotels, tent cabins, and campgrounds, the park can expect to cancel about 1,000 reservations.

Source: Los Angeles Times


“This is the prime visitor season, so this wasn’t an easy decision to make,” park spokesman Scott Gediman told USA Today. “This was purely for safety’s sake.”

Source: USA Today


The evacuated areas are expected to reopen July 29.

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