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Fire spurs evacuation of 100 near Yosemite

About 100 people have been ordered to leave their homes as a wildfire burns outside Yosemite National Park, officials said Sunday.

Residents of the community of Rancheria were told to evacuate Saturday, while residents of the nearby communities of Yosemite West, Old El Portal, Incline and Jerseydale have also been told they may have to leave their homes.

The blaze, which is burning in a steep and rugged area of thick forests along Highway 140, has also forced the indefinite closure of the roadway. The highway, one of the main entrances into the park, is shut down for a 15-mile stretch from just east of the town of Mariposa to about two miles outside the park's entrance.

The blaze, which began Thursday when a motorh ome caught fire, was 35 percent contained Sunday. It had burned about 4,600 acres.

About 850 firefighting personnel were on the scene, including helicopter crews that are taking water from the nearby Merced River and dropping it on the flames.

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