Tourism

Here’s what you need to know about California’s wildfires

Officials are now warning the catastrophic wildfires burning through California are expected to continue for the rest of the month.

CNN reports the fire, known as the Mendocino Complex Fire, is now the biggest in the state’s history after nearly doubling in size over the last three days now taking up 117,639 hectares.

That’s almost the size of Los Angeles.

The fires have not yet led to any injuries but have led to thousands of evacuations and destroyed 1,500 structures.

Caroline Beteta, President & CEO of Visit California said California’s tourism industry is grateful to the first responders.

“Despite the wildfires, California remains a safe and accessible place to visit,” he said.

“All major airports and roadways are open and vast majority of the Golden State is unaffected by the fires. In fact, fires currently comprise less than one percent of the state’s total land mass.”

“However, in the affected regions, wildfires have caused some air quality concerns, influenced road closures and forced the temporary closures of some attractions.”

“We encourage visitors who are planning a trip to contact their hotel and local visitor’s bureau to see if the destination is impacted.”

Therese Williams, Director of Public Relations and Sales for Visit Yosemite, said with the fire now on its 27th day, tourism in the areas around Yosemite National Park has taken a hit.

“Visit Yosemite Madera County, the largest visitor centre of the gateway entrances, has been providing alternative activities and experiences for visitors as there is so much more to see than Yosemite,” she said.

“The entire park is expected to be open August 15th, whilst only a portion of the park is closed currently.”

Visit California is advising tourists to visit CalFire for updated information.

For updated information on impacts across the High Sierra region that have forced Yosemite National Park to temporarily close, visit Yosemite National Park ServiceYosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau and Visit Tuolumne County.

For impacts to Lake and Mendocino counties, check out Visit Mendocino County.

For impacts in Shasta County near Redding, check out Visit Redding.

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