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The Latest: Crews make gains against blaze near Yosemite


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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Latest on wildfires burning in California (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

Fire crews have made gains against a blaze that has scorched more 120 square miles (308 square kilometers) of dense brush and dead trees near California's Yosemite National Park.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Monday evening the blaze is 60 percent contained.

The wildfire burning for more than a week has destroyed 63 homes and 68 other buildings. Officials say it could take crews another two weeks to fully surround it.

The blaze is burning about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Yosemite and continues to threaten about 1,500 structures in Mariposa County.

More than 5,000 firefighters fought the blaze using air tankers and fleets of helicopters and bulldozers.

Some residents were allowed to return to their homes Sunday, but mandatory evacuation orders remain in place for parts of the county.

The blaze is one of more than a dozen that have ravaged California in recent weeks.

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8:05 p.m.

Firefighters are bracing for the possibility of dry lightning as they battle a stubborn blaze that has scorched nearly 120 square miles (308 square kilometers) near California's Yosemite National Park.

The wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills was 50 percent contained Monday. But the state's fire protection agency says it could take crews another two weeks to fully surround it.

More evacuated residents were allowed to return to their homes Sunday, but flames continue to threaten about 1,500 structures in Mariposa County. The fire is burning about 35 miles (56 kilometers) west of Yosemite, but the park remains open.

The blaze is one of more than a dozen that have ravaged California in recent weeks.

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