YOSEMITE, Calif. — Yosemite National Park is closing to all visitors due to significant smoke impacts from California’s wildfires.
The park issued a notice that all entrances and roads will close at 5 p.m. Thursday and will reopen when conditions are safe.
The park says there is hazardous air quality throughout Yosemite.
Sequoia National Park closed earlier this week due to a growing wildfire in the adjacent Sequoia National Forest. Kings Canyon National Park remains open but air quality is also described as poor.
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According to Cal Fire, in 2019, California wildfires burned just under 260,000 acres from 7,860 incidents. Over 700 structures were damaged or destroyed and three people were killed. This follower two years of some of the “deadliest and most destructive wildfires” in California history.
If you live in a wildfire-prone zone, Cal Fire suggests creating a defensible space around your home. Defensible space is an area around a building in which vegetation and other debris are completely cleared. At least 100 feet is recommended.
The Department of Homeland Security suggests assembling an emergency kit that has important documents, N95 respirator masks, supplies to grab with you if you’re forced to leave at a moment’s notice. The agency also suggests signing up for local warning system notifications and know your community’s evacuation plans to best prepare yourself and your family in cases of wildfires.