Wildfire smoke forces closure of Yosemite, two other national parks

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(NPS Photo)

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Wildfire smoke has forced the closure of Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon national parks this weekend.

Yosemite National Park officials announced plans to close to all visitors and vehicle access Thursday evening due to “significant” smoke impacts and hazardous air quality throughout the park.

The closure is expected to last through the weekend as the air quality is projected to be in the unhealthy to hazardous range over the next several days from wildfires in the area. Park officials said reopening is dependent on air quality allowing safe visitation.

Yosemite’s move mirrors a closure at Sequoia National Park announced earlier this week. Nearby Kings Canyon National Park had remained open, but announced plans late Thursday to shut down.

Millions across California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and Idaho have been hit with unhealthy and at time hazardous air conditions since some of the nation’s largest wildfires on record sparked in mid-August. In recent days, a shift in the weather pattern has push smoke eastward, across much of the country.

Use the interactive map below to see how the wildfire smoke is impacting your state.

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