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Fire Update: The “Early” Fire To 1,000 Acres

The fire burning 16 miles east of Groveland in the steep and rugged Tuolumne River canyon has now consumed between 800-to-1,000 acres.

As of 12 noon today Pat kaunert with the Forest Service says the fire is only 5 percent contained

He says due to hot temperatures low humidity , dry brush and grass and extremely difficult terrain are hampering firefighting efforts. The fire was first reported off Cherry Oil Road near Highway 120 Monday morning around 10 a.m.

Approximately 500 firefighters and fire managers are working the blaze, along with 23 fire engines, and 6 helicopters. Air tankers from the Columbia Air Attack base will be flying again this afternoon as well.

The fire has forced the shut down of the Hetch Hetchy power grid to protect firefighters from high voltage power lines . They have also slowed the flow of water on the Tuolumne River as well.

Smoke from the fire can be seen in Sonora to the east, with smoke drifting northwest over Twain Harte and Mi Wuk Village into Calaveras County this afternoon.

Closures due to the Early fire include:

Cherry Lake Road is closed from the Mather “Y” to Forest Road 3N01S. Restricted traffic is important for providing safety to the public and to the firefighters associated with the management of the Early wildfire.

Please watch for firefighters and heavy equipment traveling along State Highway 120 and in the Cherry Lake Road vicinity.

The San Jose Family Camp and Yosemite Riverside Inn are not affected by the fire.

Cause of the fire is still under investigation.