The Washburn Fire continued to burn in southern parts of Yosemite National Park on Saturday, July 9, putting giant sequoias in the Mariposa Grove area of the park at risk, fire officials said.
The fire, which broke out on Thursday, prompted the evacuation and closure of Mariposa Grove. On Friday, mandatory evacuation orders were issued in the community of Wawona and the Wawona Campground.
By Saturday morning, it had burned through 703 acres of woodland, officials said.
According to the National Park Service (NPS), the Mariposa Grove is home to the largest sequoia grove in Yosemite, containing around 500 mature giant sequoias.
“The national park idea is rooted in the Mariposa Grove. In 1864 President Lincoln signed legislation protecting the Mariposa Grove and Yosemite Valley for ‘public use, resort, and recreation’”, according to the NPS website. Credit: ALERTWildfire via Storyful