August 28, 2013 | Vol. 94, No. 202

Squelching Sierra fires left forest ready to burn

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Unnaturally long intervals between wildfires and years of drought primed the Sierra Nevada for the explosive conflagration chewing up the rugged landscape on the edge of Yosemite National Park, forestry experts say.

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Associated Press
Paint peels after the sign was burned from the Rim Fire in the Stanislaus National Forest along Highway 120 near Yosemite National Park Monday.

The fire had ravaged 282 square miles by Tuesday, the biggest in the Sierra’s recorded history and one of the largest on record in California.

Containment increased to 20 percent but some 4,500 structures remained threatened and firefighters were making stands at Tuolumne City and other mountain communities.

The blaze was just 40 acres when it was d...