Will the Rim Fire affect Labor Day travel? Some campgrounds close, Yosemite remains open

Although Yosemite is open, some of the national park's campgrounds are closed due to the Rim Fire.
Although Yosemite is open, some of the national park's campgrounds are closed due to the Rim Fire.
David McNew /Reuters/Landov

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Although five of Yosemite's 13 campgrounds are closed due to the Rim Fire, most of the national park will remain open this Labor Day weekend.

According to the National Park Service, the northern part of the park as well as Tioga Road is experiencing some smoke, but most of Yosemite is smoke-free.  These conditions could change if the wind shifts.

AAA spokeswoman Cynthia Harris said that almost 4 million Californians will be traveling this three-day weekend. She said that those headed to Yosemite should be sure to check highway closures.

“We know that Highway 120 has been closed, so that makes it more difficult to enter from the west side, but there are a lot of options,” said Harris.

She said that Yosemite is a popular destination for residents and tourists, but that the Rim Fire has been burning for days now, so many people have had adequate time to change their plans if necessary.

Harris said the upcoming three-day weekend is a holiday typically spent at home or close to home. Many Californians will go to places like San Diego, Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe.

"Short trips are really the trend for Labor Day," she said.

State officials say fighting the Rim Fire has cost at least $27 million, which is about 15 percent of the state’s total annual firefighting budget. The fire began over a week ago and has forced evacuations and closures in the area. So far the fire has burned more than 187,000 acres and destroyed 111 buildings.

For the most up-to-date information on the Rim Fire, check the resources below:

Yosemite Campground Hotline: To find out which campgrounds are closed and which have open availability, call (209)372-0266. For more information on conditions in Yosemite, visit the National Park Service website.

Caltrans Highway Hotline: To get the latest updates on highway closures, call 1 (800) 427-7623 or go online to the Caltrans website.