Rim Fire: Sierra fire puts some Labor Day tourists in quandary, but grows slowly Thursday (MAP)

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The huge Sierra Nevada wildfire and its smoke plume have caused some tourists to opt out of plans for the last big travel weekend of the summer as the Rim Fire continued to grow — official estimates were up almost 7,000 acres to 199,237 acres burned.

Tourists who keep their hard-to-get Labor Day lodging reservations in Yosemite will enjoy a pleasant surprise: clear air with less of the usual holiday congestion.

The park has seen some reservation cancellations and some nearby mountain communities have had a serious drop-off in business due to the 311-square-mile Rim Fire, which was at 32 percent containment Thursday evening.

But 20 miles upwind in Yosemite Valley, the sky is clear and not even the scent of smoke is in the air.

However, some hotels and motels at Lake Tahoe report canceled reservations due to the smoke plume from the Yosemite fire.

With contributions from KPCC staff

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