Crews advance, but Rim Fire containment weeks awayKurtis Alexander | San Francisco Chronicle
Updated 7:39 pm, Thursday, August 29, 2013(08-29) 19:37 PDT TUOLUMNE CITY -- Firefighters were slowing the advance of flames on all sides of the massive Rim Fire on Thursday, and officials report that full containment of the blaze in and around Yosemite National Park could come within weeks.
Still, the wildfire, which had burned 311 square miles by Thursday evening, was spreading to the east, deeper into the national park, and heading west, threatening homes along rural Highway 108.
An evacuation advisory for Tuolumne City was lifted Thursday, but officials said periodic road closures there would persist. The evacuation advisory remains in place for the foothill communities above Sonora, from Tuolumne City to Pinecrest, and the towns outside Yosemite report that the air is thick with smoke.
Air-quality warnings have been issued as far away as Reno, some 100 miles to the north, and many in the Bay Area have begun reconsidering plans to spend the Labor Day weekend in the Sierra.
The fire is now 32 percent contained. More than 4,900 personnel have joined the firefight while winds and hot temperatures have let up a bit, authorities reported.
The burn could be fully contained in two to three weeks, authorities said.
No structures have burned since earlier this week, when the tally hit 111 - mostly small cabins and outbuildings. Eleven homes have been destroyed.
The Rim Fire began Aug. 17 in the Stanislaus National Forest near Groveland and has since ballooned into the state's sixth largest wildfire on record.
The cause of the blaze is not known.
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