See sidebar "Rim Fire stats" for the most recent information from the U.S. Forest Service.

Information in the following updates comes from the U.S. Forest Service.

Update at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8:

Tonight, firefighters will face continued warm and extremely dry nighttime conditions. Shifting winds and dry forests may lead to active fire behavior.

Dry spots within the fire perimeter will continue to burn, creating a potential for spot fires outside containment lines. Tonight’s top priorities are to contain the spot fires along Tioga Road structure protection at Hetch Hetchy and patrol of the contained new fire start at Long Barn.

Firefighters will patrol mop up and monitor lines while maintaining structure defense.

Update at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7:

Last night, firefighters in helicopters performed aerial firing operations on two ridges on the northern portion of the fire, significantly reducing the threat of the fire escaping containment lines on the northern flank.

Unburned vegetation within the containment lines continued to burn out down the ridges throughout the night. Crews also performed burning operations from hand lines and natural barriers on the fire’s southeastern flank.

With hotter and drier weather expected today, firefighters will focus on containing spot fires, especially on the northern and southeastern flanks. Mop-up and hazard tree mitigation will also continue as fire crews work to strengthen control lines.

Travelers along Highway 120 are asked to use caution and avoid stopping when driving through the fire area.

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Firefighters home safe after Rim Fire battle
Mike McMillan of the U.S. Forest Service

Update at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6:

Calaveras County Air Pollution Control District has provided a fourth wildfire smoke warning.

With weather reports predicting low humidity and high pressure, Brian Moss, the director of Environmental Health, said smoke will persist throughout the weekend.

For ways to mitigate the effects of poor air quality, click here.

Update at 7:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 6:

Today, fire activity is expected to intensify as unburned areas within control lines are consumed by the Rim Fire.

Hotter and drier weather conditions will persist through the weekend, increasing the chance of spotting of embers across containment lines.

Firefighters are working to contain several small spot fires on the fire’s northern flank in the Clavey Meadow area. Crews will use hand-tools to build fire line in extremely rugged terrain to secure the fire’s northern edge.

Firefighters on the southeast flank are working to contain several small spot fires across Tioga Road. Thursday, major burnout operations along Tioga Road were completed.

Today’s operations will focus on controlling the spot fires and strengthening control lines through mopping up hot-spots and mitigating hazardous trees.

Update at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 5:

Officials say there was minimal growth on the Rim Fire yesterday. An updated acreage is not available because last night's infrared flight was grounded due to mechanical difficulties.

On the southeast flank, control lines are "holding well," officials say, and last night’s firing operations were successful off the Tioga Road.

Today, the main fire is expected to advance toward Tioga Road and areas burned out last night. Hot and dry conditions are expected to persist through the weekend. Strong winds from the south-southeast could challenge containment lines on the fire’s northeast flanks. As such, fire crews are working to improve containment lines on the north flank. Crews are also continuing mop-up and improvement of containment lines on the fire's western flank.

There are no mandatory or advisory evacuation orders effective in Mariposa or Tuolumne counties. However, there are roads that remain closed. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.

Yosemite National Park has closed Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek campgrounds, both located along Tioga Road. White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge remain closed. The Stanislaus National Forest has issued an area closure for the entire Groveland Ranger District and for the Mi-Wok Ranger District east of Highway 108. 

Update at 6 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4:

Today, the Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where there are unburned fuels between containment lines and the fire. Crews are constructing new line off the Tioga Road to reduce the amount of fire operations needed to contain the fire. As conditions are favorable, crews will continue using firing operations to remove unburned fuels on the fire’s south and northeast flanks.

The west and north flanks are considered contained while firefighters continue to monitor for spot fires and heat found near containment lines. Weather conditions are expected to be similar to yesterday with slightly drier conditions. Smoke exposure and air quality will continue to be a concern to the public and fire crew.

As of noon yesterday, there are currently no mandatory or advisory evacuation orders effective in Mariposa or Tuolumne counties. Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows has been evacuated.

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Rim Fire - clearing debris
Crews clear Highway 120 of debris Monday, Sept. 2. Mike McMillan of the U.S. Forest Service

Update at noon Tuesday, Sept. 3:

Several evacuation advisories have been lifted for areas including Ponderosa Hills and other communities along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. There are currently no mandatory evacuations or evacuation advisories for Mariposa County.

Additionally, the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office will be lifting all evacuation advisories countywide. This includes North Tuolumne Road, Ponderosa Hills and the south side of Highway 108 from the North Tuolumne Road exit to Pinecrest.

Highway 120 at the Yosemite National Park boundary west to Buck Meadows is still evacuated.

Update at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3:

Last night, active fire behavior continued into the late evening, but the blaze became more moderate as humidity increased. There were moderate rates of spread in the advancing ground fire and burnout operations.

Today, weather conditions will be similar to yesterday but slightly drier. Smoke exposure and air quality will continue to be a concern to the public and fire crews (Click here for suggestions to safeguard your health).

Firefighters will be assigned north of Cherry Lake and Eleanor Lake to monitor the fire's advancement and contain its spread in the rocky terrain. There will be direct and indirect line construction, with burnout as necessary, south of Harden Lake in Yosemite National Park. Continued burnout operations are planned in Yosemite National Park along Tioga Road. Patrol and mop-up will continue in all areas except the southeastern edge.

Also today, helicopters are providing point protection and cooling areas where it's safe to perform direct line construction. Still, about 4,500 structures remain threatened in advance of the fire on both the east and west sides. The fire is expected to continue its eastward spread father into the west side of Yosemite National Park east of Aspen Valley.

Update at 6 a.m. Monday, Sept. 2:

Overnight, line construction and burning operations continued on the east and southeast flanks of the fire.

Fire activity continues to be active in the south and southeast with moderate rates of spread and torching. Today, winds will come from the south-southwest with up to 20 mph gusts.

Fire activity has been slow and moderate in the north end of the fire. Today’s fire weather is extreme. Very active fire and extensive spotting continues to hamper suppression efforts and pose risks to firefighters. Air resources will be used in assisting with spot fires, slowing fire advancement and controlling lines in advance of the fire spread.

The extremely dry fuels, highs winds and potential remain significant concerns for the fire to advance beyond retardant lines. About 4,500 structures remain threatened in advance of the fire on both the east and west sides. The fire is expected to continue its eastward spread into the west side of Yosemite National Park east of Aspen Valley.

Update at 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1:

With containment up by 5 percent, there was a drop of nearly 500 in personnel over the day. Burning operations and structure protection continued on the southeast and northern portions of the fire. Burnout operations have been temporarily suspended south of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir inside Yosemite National Park while fire behavior analysts and long-term analysts assess possibilities for opportunities for direct line construction south of Harden Lake.

Crews established a wider buffer between designated containment lines and the head of the main fire. In multiple areas more hand line is being constructed for containment.

Bulldozers worked to enhance the stability of contingency lines amid the fire’s edge and communities of Tuolomne City, Twain Harte and Long Barn.

Firefighters remain actively engaged in mop-up operations along the west flank of the fire in the Pine Mountain Lake and Buck Meadows areas. Significant progress has been made on burnout operations between Hells Mountain and Clavey Lake.

Provided that favorable conditions remain, more crews are expected to carry on with burning and structure defense operations throughout the night.

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Rim Fire analysts
Long-term fire behavior analysts check fire weather Saturday, Aug. 31. Fick Fleischman

Update at 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 1:

More personnel have been added to the fight against the Rim Fire, but containment and acreage burned remain the same as last night. Today, firefighters will continue with burning operations, strengthening existing fire lines and defending structures.

Update at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31:

Today, burning operations continued along Tioga Road near Crane Flat and in the Hetch Hetchy area.

The fire is continuing to advance east into Yosemite National Park’s Aspen Valley and Cottonwood Meadow, and natural barriers are limiting the spread to the northeast near Lake Eleanor.

As conditions allow, burnout operations are planned for the eastern edge of the fire in Yosemite National Park between the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and Harden Lake and along Big Oak Road near Crane Flat.

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Rim Fire
Photo courtesy of USFS

Update at 6 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31:

The Rim Fire is the fifth largest in California's recorded history. By Sunday, it will likely be the fourth largest after it takes that spot from the Matilija Fire in Ventura that burned 220,000 acres in 1932. See attached PDF of largest California fires.

On Friday night, a spot fire crossed Old Yosemite Road prompting an expansion of the mandatory evacuation in Mariposa County.

Crews burned south from Hetch Hetchy Reservoir toward Harden Lake on the eastern flank. Crews continued structure defense in the Highway 108 and 120 corridors and around Cherry Lake. Saturday's operations will included actions to control the spot fire south of Old Yosemite Road. Crews will also begin a burning operation from Duckwall Mountain north to Fahey Meadow along Forest Road 3N07 and will continue a burning operation in Yosemite National Park near Harden Lake and south to White Wolf and to Tioga Road. Aircraft will continue to support burning operations.

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Rim Fire
A DC-10 banks and drops a load of retardant on the Rim Fire. By Mike McMillan, USFS.

Update at 6:30 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30:

The Rim Fire has burned across 201,894 acres, or 315 square miles, with a 32 percent containment. There are 4,931 firefighters assigned to the blaze, and four people have sustained injuries.

Structures threatened remains at 4,500 and those destroyed is 111 -- 11 houses, three pieces of commercial property and 97 outbuildings. The evacuation advisory remains in effect for Ponderosa Hills and areas along the south side of Highway 108 up to Pinecrest. 

Effective Thursday, the Tuolumne City evacuation advisory was lifted.

Over the night, burnout operations continued in the southeastern span of the fire. Crews worked on a fire line along a Forest Service road to stop spread to the north. Structure defense continues in Pinecrest, Miwok Village, Confidence, Cold Springs and Hodgdon Meadow and Big Oak Flat in Yosemite National Park.

Today, crews will continue the burnout in Yosemite south of Hetch Hetchy. Air operations will be used to support the groundwork as needed.

"Continued warmer and drier weather is forecasted for the next several days, which will elevate control concerns and slow burnout progress," said a representative from the Stanislaus National Forest.

Cost-to-date is $47 million.

The fire is expected to be contained by Friday, Sept. 20.

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Night fire by Mike McMillan, USFS

Update at 6:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 29:

Acres burned by the Rim Fire is now at 192,737, or 301 square miles, according to a release from the Stanislaus National Forest. The 4,840 firefighters assigned to the fire have attained 30 percent containment. There are 4,500 threatened structures, and 11 houses and 97 outbuildings have burned. There have been three injuries. Cost-to-date is $39.2 million.

Last night, firefighters prepared for burning operations south of Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park. Today, crews will continue to construct fire line and provide structure defense north of Fahey Cabin.

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Rim Fire
Photo by Mike McMillan of U.S. Forest Service, Evergreen Road fire activity off Highway 120.

Update at 8 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28:

The Rim Fire has consumed 187,466 acres as of this morning, and 4,191 personnel are battling the blaze. They have reached 23 percent containment on the fire, which has destroyed 111 structures and threatens 5,506 more. Thus far, three injuries have been sustained due to the fire.

Update at 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 26:

Now the seventh largest fire in California’s recorded history, the Rim Fire has burned about 179,481 acres, or 281 square miles, as of Tuesday morning. Containment is at 20 percent.

Threatened structures remains at 4,500, but those destroyed has jumped to 101.

“Damage assessments from the Berkeley Tuolumne Camp revealed extensive losses of infrastructure,” said a representative from the Stanislaus National Forest.

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Rim Fire by night

Firefighters worked overnight on spot fires and continued establishing fire line throughout the affected area. They were successful in establishing a dozer line around spot fires at Duckwall Mountain.

“Good progress was made with constructing and securing lines along the southwestern edge of the fire,” the representative said. “Good progress is being achieved with construction of contingency control lines along the northeastern edge of the fire.”

Today, fire crews will work to protect Yosemite National park north and south of Highway 120, and they will also continue to guard communities along the Highway 108 corridor.

Heavy air tankers will provide structure defense prep in advance of the fire. Aerial support will also be used to control spot fires and slow the blaze’s advancement through inaccessible terrain.

Cost-to-date is $27.2 million, and 3,752 firefighters have been assigned to the blaze.

Click here to see the Rim Fire’s progression.

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Rim Fire - aerial support

WATCH: UH-60 Black Hawk Helicopter drop water on the Rim Fire.

WATCH: Rim Fire time lapse from Crane Ridge.

WATCH: C-130J drop retardant on the Rim Fire

Original story from noon Monday, Aug. 26:

One of California’s largest fires in reported history is still burning hot. The inferno of Tuolumne County’s Rim Fire charred 149,780 acres – or 234 square miles – as of Monday morning. But the 3,678 firefighters assigned to the blaze made some headway Sunday night, increasing containment from 7 to 15 percent.

“Fire crews made significant progress yesterday and through the evening hours along the western edge and fire growth is expected to slow because of their efforts,” said Stanislaus National Forest spokesman Jerry Snyder.

Crews will continue to construct fire line where accessibility and safety allow. Some firefighters from a Calaveras County strike team were assigned to lighting backfires to protect structures and extinguishing spot fires around Sawmill Flat Road in Sonora. Another strike team was assigned to direct attack, extinguishing the Rim Fire itself. Nine Calaveras County fire protection districts have joined the fight, including those from San Andreas, Central Calaveras, Ebbetts Pass, Copperopolis, Mokelumne Hill, West Point, Murphys and Angels Camp.

The fire continues to be “extremely active” along the eastern and northeastern edge into Yosemite National Park, Snyder said. Heavy air tankers are being used along the eastern edge of the flames, prepping locations in advance of the fire’s eastern spread.

On the ground, firefighters are clearing brush, laying sprinkler systems and using controlled burns to create a fire-dampening barrier around the national forest’s giant sequoia trees – which are under threat from the fire.

For houses near the wildfire, additional evacuation orders and warnings were issued Sunday for areas toward the east and southeast. About 4,500 structures are threatened and 23 had burned as of Monday. Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, the supply of San Francisco’s water, remains under threat. Highway 120 is still closed to all Yosemite National Park traffic.

Gov. Jerry Brown visited Tuolumne City Monday morning and was briefed by fire officials. He said the state would provide monetary support to the firefight.

“Whatever it takes, I’m going to make sure the resources are deployed,” he said.

He added President Barack Obama called Sunday and expressed his support.

“Whatever we need, he’ll provide,” Brown said.

The cause of the far-reaching Rim Fire, which sparked to life Aug. 17, is still under investigation. As of Monday morning, cost-to-date was $20.1 million.

“The Rim incident is expected to continue to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels, strong winds and inaccessible terrain,” Snyder said. “Rapid fire growth and extreme fire behavior are hampering suppression efforts.”

An evacuation center has been established at the Mother Lode Fairgrounds 220 Southgate Drive, Sonora, and donations are appreciated. To donate food, small-animal cages or time to the effort, call 206-1134.

​Contact Alicia Castro at alicia@calaverasenterprise.com.