In this July 25, 2018 file photo, Hannah Whyatt poses for a friend's photo as smoke from the Ferguson fire fills Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, Calif.

AP Photo/Noah Berger, File

'Hazardous' smoky air shuts Yosemite in peak tourist season

August 04, 2018 - 1:50 pm
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By Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yosemite National Park's iconic cliffs are shrouded in so much smoke from nearby wildfires that the air quality in parts of the park is worse than Beijing.

The scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas have been closed since July 25 along with hundreds of campsites and hotels.

Officials tentatively plan to reopen the park Monday but will only do so if conditions improve.

The closure has dealt a financial blow to Yosemite at the height of the summer season and caused upheaval for thousands of tourists whose summer trips have been canceled.

British tourist Caroline Lansell is among those whose plans have been upended by the closure. She says she's "totally gutted" she can't visit Yosemite.

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