Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
Fire crews are making progress against the raging fire that swept into Yosemite National Park, containing one-third of the blaze and lifting an evacuation advisory for residents of Tuolumne City, the picturesque mountain community in the Sierra Nevada mountains.
Evacuation advisories were also issued for the nearby communities of Soulsbyville, and Willow Springs, all west of the main blaze, according to the Incident Information System.
Air quality also showed some improvement along the Eastern Sierra just east of Lake Tahoe and in Reno, Nev.
Fire teams have been helped by favorable weather, including lower temperatures, higher humidity and lighter winds, said Dan Berlant, Cal Fire spokesman, The (Sonora) Union Democratreports.
But Berlant says forecasts of higher temperatures have prompted officials to extend -- from Sept. 10 to Sept. 20 -- the date on when they believe the fire will be fully contained.
Firefighters are now setting controlled backfires in the park and nearby forests to try to starve the rolling blaze of vegetation for fuel, the U.S. Forest Service says.
By Friday morning, the 13-day-old Rim Fire had charred 311-square miles and was 32% contained. More than 4,900 firefighters are battling the fire, at a cost of $47 million. It is listed as the fifth-largest California wildfire on record.
At least 31 wildfires are burning in eight Western states, and only two are contained.
More than 20,000 acres of the fire are along the northern edge of the park, but the heart of the popular tourist destination has been spared. Many of its most famous landmarks, such as Half Dome, are visible in crystal clear skies. There is not event a hint of smoke in Yosemite Valley.
The park, however, has seen some reservations cancelled and some nearby mountain communities have had a serious drop-off in business.
For this weekend's Labor Day traffic, park officials expect about 3,000 cars a day to pass through the gates, down from the normal 5,000 cars for a typical holiday.
Most of the missing will be day tourists, not those who have waited months and even years for a campsite along the Merced River or a room at the historic Ahwahnee Lodge.
"We've had minimal cancellations, and when we do we fill them immediately," says park spokesman Scott Gediman. "The campsites are full and there are plenty of people, but because of the publicity we're slower."
Contributing: Associated Press