[LA FEATURE]California Wildfires

LA FEATURE

Coverage of brush fires across the state

Rim Fire Started Near Yosemite Costs $100 Million, Tuolumne River Trust Seeks Aid

Huge wildfire near Yosemite began when hunter allowed illegal fire to escape.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Tuolumne River Trust is calling for financial help to rebuild after the Rim Fire, California's third largest wildfire in history. Christie Smith reports.

    Federal fire officials say the cost of fighting the Rim Fire that has burned across nearly 400 square miles in and around Yosemite National Park has reached $100 million, and the Tuolumne River Trust is seeking aid to repair the charred forest and river beds.

      The Los Angeles Times reported Monday the cost has been run up as firefighters have struggled in hot and very dry conditions since the blaze erupted on Aug. 17. It is now 80 percent contained, and which  authorities say the blaze was caused by a hunter's campfire. It is now considered California's third largest wildfire in state history.
     
    As it ripped through natural landscape, the fire destroyed nearly a dozen homes and almost 100 outbuildings. Which is why on Tuesday, Eric Wesselman, executive director of the Tuolumne River Trust in San Francisco, officially launched the "Rim Fire Recovery Campaign." 

    Raw Video: Massive Fire Rages in Yosemite

    [NATL] Raw Video: Massive Fire Rages in Yosemite
    A Northern California wildfire near Yosemite National Park grew overnight to more than three times the size of San Francisco and spread inside the border of the park. Watch scenes near Yosemites.

    He and his nonprofit called on Congress to commit to funding the restoration of the burned out river canyon, destroying habitats for wildlife and leaving unstable, dead trees and bare soil primed for erosion.

    Wesselman said it  might cost "tens of millions" of dollars to restore what's been destroyed by fire.

    Officials Say Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Water Remains Safe for Drinking

    [BAY] Officials Say Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Water Remains Safe for Drinking
    San Francisco officials on Tuesday announced water supply at Hetch Hetchy Reservoir continues to be safe for drinking after concerns of ash from the nearby Rim Fire.

    “96 percent of the Rim Fire has burned in the Tuolumne River Watershed causing widespread damage to an incredibly special place that millions of people depend on and enjoy,” Wesselman said at the news conference. “We’re looking to Sens. (Diane) Feinstein and (Barbara) Boxer to lead the way to make sure the funding is there to repair the damage.”

    In addition, Wesselmen said local groups have to brainstorm how to raise money, too.

    For more information, click on Tuolumne River Trust. To donate, click here.