The now notorious Mariposa blaze (the so-called Telegraph Fire) was reported 40 percent contained Wednesday, having over the course of five days torched some 50 square miles and 21 homes along the Merced River gateway to Yosemite.
"The road is open," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Joseph Adkins told the AP, "but the major issue is the helicopters dipping down into the river sucking up water... people stop to take pictures, especially foreign tourists, because it's exciting and fascinating."
Inside the park the air is thick with smoke and major power is yet to be restored. The only electricity comes from park generators. "We may not have electricity for the lights," says Kenny Karst, spokesman for park concessioner Delaware North, "but now some people can take hot showers."
Move fast... Now's your chance to experience Yosemite the way it was in the days of John Muir.