YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. – National Park officials plan to close Yosemite Valley on Wednesday and are encouraging all visitors to the valley to evacuate, the Fresno Bee reported.
A main entrance to the valley, Highway 41 from Wawona to the tunnel into Yosemite Valley, will be closed at noon Wednesday, Michael Reynolds of the National Park Service said. The road is expected to remain closed until Sunday.
“Get yourself out of here if you can,” Reynolds told a group of evacuees, tourists and park employees inside the Yosemite Valley Auditorium on Tuesday morning, the Bee reported.
The closure was ordered because of concerns that the Ferguson Fire is approaching Highway 41 and could make it very dangerous.
Park visitors are being allowed to stay Tuesday night, but park officials are encouraging everyone to leave by Wednesday morning.
The Ferguson Fire has blackened more than 36,000 acres of forest and is only 25 percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.