Yosemite blaze rages closer to reservoir for San Francisco
Roaring unchecked for 10 days, one of California’s largest wildfires runs through forests in and around Yosemite National Park and threatened a reservoir that supplies most of San Fransisco’s water.
As of midday, the eastern flank of the so-called Rim Fire had burned to within a mile of Yosemite’s Hetch Hetchy reservoir on the Tuolumne River, raising concerns about the possibility of ash and soot contaminating the sprawling artificial lake.
On Saturday, flames had been no closer than 4 miles from the reservoir, which supplies 85 percent of the water consumed by 2.6 million people in San Francisco and several communities in three adjacent counties about 200 miles to the west.
Roughly 300 million gallons of water is carried to the San Francisco Bay area daily through tunnels and an aqueduct, and reservoir samples show water quality has remained healthy since the fire began on August 17, according to a spokeswoman for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.
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