National Park officials are extending the closure of the scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas due to heavy smoke from the massive Ferguson Fire nearby.
The Yosemite Valley, the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias and other park areas closed July 25 and tentatively scheduled to reopen on Friday. The closure was also put in place to allow crews to perform protective measures such as burning away brush on roadways.
Park spokesman Scott Gediman said Tuesday the closure will be extended "at least through Sunday due to continuing poor air quality."
The closures have been a huge blow to the park during the peak summer season and to thousands of tourists, who book months in advance at the parks campsites and hotels.
Gediman said it was the longest closure at Yosemite since 1997 when floods closed the park for over two months.
The Ferguson Fire is 58,074 acres and 33 percent contained.
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