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Firefighters battle wildfire at California's Yosemite National Park

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Firefighters battle wildfire at California's Yosemite National Park

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Around 800 firefighters backed by helicopters are battling a large wildfire on the western edge of the Yosemite National Park in California.

The El Portal blaze broke out on Saturday and forced the evacuation of two communities and three campsites.

Forecasters suggest thunderstorms are due in the area, which may help or impede authorities.

Scott Gediman, is from the Yosemite National Park:
“Thunderstorms are a double-edged sword. They can help us with rain. We got some thunderstorms last weekend that dumped a lot of rain, certainly the moisture would be good, however lightning strikes and igniting more fires is certainly a concern.”

Rescue teams are having to work in difficult terrain. The vegetation is extremely dry and the hillsides steep.

Last year the park fell victim to the destructive Rim Fire.