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Ferguson Fire reaches full containment; Ranch, Carr fires continue in California

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 8/19/2018 Steve Kiggins
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The Ferguson Fire, which killed two firefighters and interrupted peak-season tourism around Yosemite National Park, is over after burning for 36 days in northern California.

Fire crews reached full containment late Saturday night, though Sierra National Forest officials said Sunday that smoke will linger and “continue to produce unhealthy conditions” in the area as interior parts of the forest continue to burn and smolder “for some time.” The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

More: Battling wildfires year-round is now the norm. How did we get here?

Related: Fireproof homes could be the answer to massive wildfires across the West

The Ferguson Fire, which sparked July 13 in steep, rugged terrain and immediately gained strength while burning through beetle-killed trees, scorched nearly 97,000 acres and destroyed 10 structures. A pair of firefighters, Braden Varney, a heavy fire equipment operator, and Brian Hughes, a captain of an elite team called the Arrowhead Hotshots, were both killed during an intense fight against the flames that required some 3,000 firefighters from across the world.


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Nineteen injuries were also reported.

The nearby Yosemite Valley, a tourism mecca in the western Sierra Mountains, was closed to visitors from July 25-Aug. 14, a serious blow to local merchants in towns such as Mariposa, Wawona, El Portal, Groveland and Oakhurst who rely on seasonal revenues.

Two high-profile fires continue to burn in California, the Ranch Fire and the Carr Fire.

The key contributor to the Mendocino Complex Fire, the largest in state history, the Ranch Fire has charred 335,647 acres as of Sunday morning. It’s at 76 percent containment.

More: After the fire comes the bill: The rising cost of fighting California blazes

The Ranch Fire's twin, the River Fire, was fully contained last week after burning nearly 50,000 acres.

The Carr Fire, which has killed six people and burned 227,098 acres in Shasta County and, at one point, threatened the city of Redding, was listed at 83 percent containment Sunday morning.


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