Thousands of firefighters are still fighting a wildfire in northern California, which has encroached on Yosemite National Park. As of Monday morning, it had grown to 149,000 acres. Officials believe that if the fire is not contained soon, the ashes could impact San Francisco’s water supply.
"It feels a little bit like a war zone, with helicopters flying overhead, bombers dropping retardant and 10 engine companies stationed on our street," said Ken Codeglia, a resident who decided to stay to protect his house with his own fire retardant system. "But if the fire gets very hot and firefighters evacuate, I will run with them."
According to Mother Jones, California Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in San Francisco because the city receives most of its water supply from a reservoir just four miles away from the edge of the fire near Yosemite.
"This declaration will help San Francisco increase coordination and manage resources being deployed to support our local, federal and state partners who are fighting this fire," San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee said in a press release.
Hetch Hetchy reservoir is responsible for pumping 237 million gallons of water into San Francisco daily. For now, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission says that the city’s drinking water is still safe.
“There continues to be no change or impact to water quality or delivery from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir,” wrote the Commission in a statement. “The Hetch Hetchy Regional Water System continues to deliver high-quality water to 2.6 million water customers in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.”
Early Tuesday morning, the good news from the area was that crews were finally beginning to get a handle on the blaze. Still, the massive fire is sending ash and smoke into largely populated areas.