The protected park is famous for its ancient trees and high mountain ranges (Photo: AP)

A large fire that got out of control spread across Yosemite National Park in California.

Mandatory evacuation of nearby settlements and campsites was ordered, and nearby highways were closed.

No injuries have yet been reported, but the flames are getting dangerously close to an area called Maripasa Grove.

The area is home to 500 sequoia trees, which are a huge attraction for tourists and park visitors.

Native to only about 70 groves spread along California’s Sierra Nevada range, the ancient trees were once thought to be impervious to flames.

But wildfires caused by lightning have killed about 20% of the world’s tree population in the past two years.

In Yosemite, firefighters are using aerial units to try to extinguish the flames from above.

Meanwhile, crews on the ground tried to wrap the redwoods in fireproofing to protect them.

A firefighter protects a redwood tree as the Washburn Fire burns in Maripas Grove (Image: AP)
Mandatory evacuation of nearby campsites and settlements was ordered (Photo: AP)

The bushfire is said to be “out of control” as it spreads across the national park.

The cause is under investigation and most of the park remains open as nearly 300 firefighters battle the blaze.

Nancy Phillip, spokeswoman for Yosemite Fire Information, said there was no apparent natural spark for the fire that broke out Thursday near the Washburn Park Trail.

“There are some hikes, but we don’t see it on the named trees that have been reported so far,” she told reporters.

She added, “Our priorities are definitely the giant redwoods and the Wawona community.

“We’re really trying as hard as we can.”

Trees have been wrapped in protective film as firefighters work to extinguish the blaze (Image: AP)
Wildfires are on the rise in America’s deserts due to climate change (Image: AP)

Smoke from the fire was initially reported by visitors walking in the grove, which reopened in 2018 after a $40 million renovation that took three years.

The grove, located at the southern entrance to the park, was evacuated, and no one was injured.

By Friday evening, the fire had covered 466 hectares, authorities said.

Wildfires are becoming more common in America’s wilderness.

This time last year there was a wildfire in Yosemite tore up over 9,000 acres in just 48 hours.

Thousands of people were forced to leave their homes due to the fire, Maripas is again under mandatory evacuation.

The California Fire Department said in a statement, “While wildfires are a natural part of the California landscape, the fire season in California and the West is starting earlier and ending later each year.

“Climate change is believed to be a key driver of this trend.”

Contact our news team by emailing us webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check out our news page.


Fire breaks out in Yosemite’s ancient grove full of 2000-year-old giant trees

Previous articleLauren Goodger announces her newborn baby daughter Lorena has died just two days after birth
Next articleMan dies after falling from 50ft bonfire in Northern Ireland ahead of Eleventh Night celebrations | UK news