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Incident Command Post (ICP): The incident command post for the Ferguson Fire is located at the Awahanee Regional Park.

Thousands of residents in Southern California were forced from their homes by a raging wildfire which remained unchecked early on Thursday as it pushed toward their mountain resort communities. Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for the three largest fires, which will authorize the state to rally resources to local governments.

More than 3,300 firefighters are battling the wildfire, aided by 16 helicopters.

Officers detained a motorist for questioning after people called 911 to report a suspicious vehicle near the fire's starting point in Riverside County, the California Highway Patrol said.

The community has faced two wildfires in the last two weeks, Hines said. "You travel all the way, and you don't come to these parks all the time".

Rich Eagan, a public information officer for the Ferguson Fire, said the reason for the evacuation "isn't because there's a fire in that area".

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, said that long-term drying caused by rising global temperatures has exacerbated the risk of wildfires in the western United States.

A Yosemite National Park official says at least a thousand campground and hotel reservations will be canceled after authorities chose to close Yosemite Valley to keep a growing forest fire at bay.

The fire quickly burned almost 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) of dry brush and timber. In a matter of hours, it grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometers). An estimated 600 homes were threatened.

Officials will continue to monitor fire and smoke conditions, and the park is set to reopen on Sunday.

Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula was booked on suspicion of five counts of arson, state fire officials said.

Authorities ordered residents to leave Idyllwild and several neighboring communities, home to about 12,000 people.

The fire began July 13 in Merced River Canyon.

"(Park rangers) told us the air quality inside (the center) was just as bad as outside".

No injuries were reported but dozens of horses and other animals and several hundred people, including children from summer camps, went to shelters.

The fire in the San Bernardino National Forest has no containment.

Robert Marshall, spokesman for the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District, told the East Bay Times the fire started shortly after 3 p.m.in Clayton.

The park announced that Yosemite Valley, home to such famous destinations as El Capitan and Half Dome, and Wawona were to be closed to all visitors. Smoke from the blaze is obscuring the valley's grand vistas of waterfalls and sheer granite faces.

"We had one guest who planned a weeklong trip", said Tom Lambert, who owns a vacation rental property near Yosemite Valley.

Selena Fang, visiting from MI, told FOX40 her trip to Yosemite was took months of planning but is taking some last-minute changes in stride.


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