Smoke grounds aircraft, hampers views in Yosemite

Weather forecast: Low visibility until Monday

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. - Smoke from a wildfire in and around Yosemite National Park is hampering both suppression efforts and the views sought by holiday weekend tourists.

Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said smoke from the 2-week-old blaze obscured Yosemite Valley for the first time Saturday. The valley is home to the park's most popular landmarks.

And weather forecasts indicate the dense blanket could stick around until Monday.

Meanwhile, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Mark Healey says firefighting aircraft remained grounded Saturday morning because of low visibility caused by the smoke.

Healey says officials are concerned about a 150-acre spot fire that crossed a road and prompted an evacuation order for homes near the west entrance of Yosemite.

As of Saturday, the entire wildfire has burned 343 square miles, up from 333 square miles a day earlier.

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