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Progress cited

SAN FRANCISCO – Fire crews battling to outflank a monster wildfire inside Yosemite National Park made headway on Friday in confining flames to wilderness areas but were powerless to salvage the region’s sputtering tourist economy at the end of its peak summer tourist season.

By morning, the tally of charred landscape from the so-called Rim Fire surpassed 200,000 acres, or nearly 315 square miles, three-quarters of that in the Stanislaus National Forest west of the park, fire officials said.

But a second straight night of cooling temperatures and higher humidity helped firefighters extend containment lines around nearly a third of the fire’s perimeter by the start of its 14th day.

“I can’t say we’ve turned a corner just yet, but we are making very good progress,” U.S. Forest Service spokesman Dick Fleishman said. “We’re going to keep chugging away.” (Reuters)

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