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Yosemite Valley to reopen, 14 days after Ferguson fire forced closure

Mara Schumann photographs a plume of smoke from the Ferguson Fire in Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Tuesday, July 24, 2018.

Noah Berger / AP

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. — Yosemite Valley will reopen to visitors on Tuesday, 14 days after it was closed due to impacts from the Ferguson fire, Yosemite National Park announced Friday. The scenic valley and other areas have been closed since July 25, along with hundreds of campsites and hotels.

Cal Fire said Thursday that the Ferguson fire was 79 percent contained.

Though the blaze didn't reach the heart of the park, it burned in remote areas, making roads inaccessible and polluting the area with smoke. The park said there will be "limited hours and limited visitor services" at its facilities as the park returns to normal.

The closure has dealt a financial blow to Yosemite at the height of the summer season and caused upheaval for thousands of tourists whose summer trips were canceled.

"We'd like to express our sincere gratitude to the firefighters and, Incident command teams for their great efforts in suppressing the Ferguson Fire," Yosemite National Park Superintendent Michael Reynolds said in a statement.