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As The Ferguson Fire Threatens Part of Yosemite, Thousands Evacuate

Monica Velez
A notice at the entrance of Yosemite National Park.

As the Ferguson Fire continues to burn, part of Yosemite National Park is closing Wednesday. 

By noon, Yosemite Valley and Wawona will be closed, causing thousands of park visitors to cancel their plans. Although the air is smokey and skies are muggy, one group of five tourists from Mexico and Germany decided to take their chances. 

Ari Rodriguez and her friends arrived at Yosemite on Tuesday afternoon. She says they planned to stay at the park until Wednesday, but are heading out before the park closes.

"I'm a fan of national parks and everything and I've heard about Yosemite a lot and I looked it up and it was amazing," Rodriguez says. "And that's what we are doing, we're doing a national park trip."

Rodriguez and her group were the only campers left a Wawona Campgrounds Tuesday. She says they feel safe from the fire and won't let it get in the way of them experiencing the park. 

Visitors at Tenaya Lodge were staying mostly indoors on Tuesday.  

Katherin Poetter, director of sales and marketing at Tenaya Lodge, says their spa was really busy on Tuesday and they're offering more indoor activities because of the poor air quality. 

Monica Velez was a reporter at Valley Public Radio. She started out as a print reporter covering health issues in Merced County at the Merced Sun-Star.