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An air tanker makes a fire retardant drop on the Way Fire in Wofford Heights, Calif, Monday, Aug. 18, 2014. The fire in Wofford Heights near Lake Isabella has grown to about slightly more than 1 square mile, or 800 acres, the U.S. Forest Service said. (AP Photo/The Bakersfield Californian, Casey Christie) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES; ONLINE OUT; TV OUT

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Some evacuees of Yosemite-area fire can go home

  • Article by: SCOTT SMITH
  • Associated Press
  • August 19, 2014 - 7:55 PM

OAKHURST, Calif. — Officials say they have gained the upper hand on a central California blaze in the foothills near Yosemite National Park that forced more than 1,000 residents to flee their homes.

State fire spokesman Chris Christopherson said Tuesday afternoon that the wildfire near the Madera County town of Oakhurst burned less than a square mile, revising earlier estimates of about twice that size.

Flames erupted Monday near the town about 16 miles from Yosemite, forcing evacuations of more than 1,000 people overnight. Some residents are now being allowed to return home, but it's unclear how many.

The fire that destroyed eight buildings is 30 percent contained.

Drivers are allowed back on State Route 41, a road to the park that had been closed. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

© 2014 Star Tribune