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Yosemite Nat'l Park: Hotel to Reopen after Rock Slide, Prescribed Fire Burns Out of Control

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Geologists are monitoring the cliffs behind Yosemite's beautiful Ahwahnee Hotel after tumbling boulders from the Royal Arches formation forced the evacuation of all 300 guests yesterday. Lucky for those guests, no one was hurt (a few cars were damaged) and the hotel reopened tomorrow after 4:00 p.m. The largest rock that fell is estimated to be 350 cubic meters.

"Rockfalls are natural occurrences in Yosemite Valley that continue to shape and reshape the granite cliffs that surround Yosemite Valley," park officials said in a statement. "Though many contributing factors may lead to rockfall, these types of events are unpredictable. Scientific analysis continues to be conducted in order to further understand this natural activity."

Kevin Roderick at LA Observed makes a nice Los Angeles connection to the hotel. "Odd fact," he says. "the historic Ahwahnee shares its architect, Gilbert Stanley Underwood, with the old federal courthouse north of City Hall in Downtown."

In other news at the park, a prescribed fire set yesterday by fire crews meant only to burn 90 acres has spread to around 2,200 acres. Dubbed the Big Meadow Fire, park officials say it has 10 percent contained.

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Previously: 3 Riverside County Men Charged with Poaching in Yosemite National Park