The Yosemite Rim Fire has received media attention as yet another example of the type of natural disaster that is striking the country with increasing frequency. Fortunately, this one has had few human casualties, in part because many precautions have been taken.
The Yosemite Rim fire at night. Though the fire hasn't threatened population centers or heavily trafficked areas of the national park, the potential of this fire has been immense: the fire tripled in size from last Wednesday to last Thursday and doubled again from Thursday to Friday.
In this photo provided to the AP by the National Park Service, a house is covered in tin foil on Tuesday by CalFire crews trying to protect structures from damage. Fortunately, by then the firefighters were starting to gain some ground.
4.Orange jumpsuits, blazing flames
Inmate firefighters walked among burning trees in the Northwest edge of Yosemite State Park. In 2008, the inmates were paid $1/hour; they have time shaved off their sentences in exchange for their work. As they battle the raging blazes, sweat pours "like Niagara Falls" under their suits, firefighter Anthony Candido told the Christian Science Monitor.
The program saves California taxpayers $80 million a year on average, but critics say it takes jobs from regular workers without providing the protections to inmates that it would to regular firefighters.
5.The destruction it has left in its wake
A firefighter stands atop a truck and surveys a campground destroyed by fire on Monday. Firefighters made some headway on Monday, and by Wednesday evening the fires had slowed to devouring 300 acres per hour rather than the rate of 1000 it had reached a day before, or 3,000 at its peak last week. Full containment, however, isn't expected until September 10.
7.This California National Guard Sergeant looking into the face of danger
In this photo from Thursday, August 22, Sgt. Chris Boni, crew chief of the 1-140th Aviation Battalion (Air Assault) from the California Army National Guard, releases water onto the rim fire.Yesterday, the California National Guard said it had launched a drone typically used in combat operations in Afghanistan and Iraq to fly over the fire, gathering information that can help direct firefighters on the ground. The National Guard is hoping to expand its domestic role.
8.This burned-out car
A charred SUV sits on a campground destroyed by the wildfire on Monday. As of Wednesday night, the wildfire had officially become the sixth largest in recorded California history.