By Miriam Raftery
September 1, 2013 (Yosemite) --The Rim Fire burning in Yosemite National Park has charred over 225,000 acres. Smoke this weekend drafted into Yosemite Valley as more than 5,000 firefighters continue to battle the blaze. Investigators have not yet determined the cause, but illegal marijuana growing operations are suspected. The fire is 45 percent contained, but thousands of homes remain threatened and 11 homes have burned, along with the Berkeley Tuolumne Camp. (For details, see: http://cdfdata.fire.ca.gov/pub/cdf/images/incidentfile889_1195.pdf
Cal Fire now ranks the Rim Fire as the fourth worst wildfire in California history, based on acreage burned nearly 225,000 acres. The fire could potentially surpass the 2003 Cedar Fire, which burned over 273,000 acres and remains our state’s worst wildfire ever in sheer size. But The Rim Fire is not likely to surpass the Cedar Fire in two other measurements of its disastrous scale. The Cedar Fire still holds the record of causing the most deaths—14, and burning the most structures – 2,820. Moreover, the collective toll of the 2007 wildfires here was even larger.