Rim Fire: Calif. wildfire now 3rd largest in state, largest in Yosemite (Map, Fire Tracker)

Western Wildfires Yosemite

Mike McMillan/AP

In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a Hotshot fire crew member rests near a controlled burn operation at Horseshoe Meadows, as crews continue to fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 80 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman. The Rim Fire’s southeast flank in Yosemite National Park is expected to remain active where unburned fuels remain between containment lines and the fire.

Yosemite National Park Remains Open As Rim Fire Continues In Burn On Park's Western Edge

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A view of Half Dome and the Yosemite Valley on August 28, 2013 in Yosemite National Park, California. As the Rim Fire continued to burn on the western edge of Yosemite National Park, the valley floor of the park remained open. The Rim Fire has charred more than 246,000 acres of forest, more than 68,000 acres in Yosemite alone, making it the largest fire in the park's history.

Western Wildfires Yosemite

Mike McMillan/AP

In this Friday, Aug. 30, 2013 photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, a member of the Bureau of Land Management Silver State Hotshot crew from Elko, Nevada, stands by a burn operation on the southern flank of the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California. The wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park has become the third-largest conflagration in California history.

Western Wildfires Yosemite

Mike McMillan/AP

In this photo provided by the U.S. Forest Service, fire crew members stand watch near a controlled burn operation as they release a very pistol, as they fight the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park in California, Monday, Sept. 2, 2013. The massive wildfire is now 75 percent contained according to a state fire spokesman.

Rim Fire Continues To Burn Near Yosemite National Park

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A burned car sits on the side of the road after being consumed by the Rim Fire on August 25, 2013 near Groveland, California.


Stats | Map

The Rim Fire is now the third largest wildfire on the books in California and the largest ever recorded in Yosemite National Park.

The fire's perimeter has grown to at least 246,350 acres, according to an update Friday morning from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. 

The largest recorded fire in California was the 2003 Cedar Fire in San Diego County, which burned more than 273,000 acres. That fire was human-caused and had a heavy human toll, destroying thousands of homes and leaving 14 people dead, according to CalFire.

The second largest fire in California was the Rush Fire, which burned about 272,000 acres in Lassen County and Nevada combined. No people were reported to have died and no structures destroyed in that fire.

The Rim Fire, burning in Tuolomne County, has ravaged swaths of Stanislaus National Forest and cut deeply into the northwest region of Yosemite, one of California's most beloved outdoor destinations. It started on Aug. 17 and crossed over into Yosemite five days later. It has since burned 68,153 acres inside the park, making it the largest fire in Yosemite's history, according to the National Park Service.

RELATED: How blazes like the Rim Fire create their own weather (Video)

No human fatalities have been attributed to the Rim Fire, though six people have been injured and 111 buildings have been destroyed. Nearly 2,000 homes are still considered threatened. 

The fire was caused by a hunter who let an illegal fire get out of control, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The fire is now 80 percent contained, and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

The Big Oak Flat Road in Yosemite National Park was scheduled to reopen at noon on Friday, according to a statement from the National Park Service.

But several closures remained in effect Friday, including Tamarack Flat and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds, White Wolf Campground and White Wolf Lodge in Yosemite, and the entire Groveland Ranger District in Stanislaus National Forest.

 

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