Chris Roberts/S.F. Examiner file photoSan Francisco's Camp Mather was just saved from the massive Rim Fire.

With Rim Fire fully contained, cities move to reopen summer camps

A wildfire that burned more than 250,000 acres in and around Yosemite National Park has been fully contained, the U.S. Forest Service said this week.

The Rim Fire, which started Aug. 17 at Jawbone Ridge in the Stanislaus National Forest before spreading into Yosemite, was contained Thursday, forest service officials said.

The fire consumed 257,314 acres, or 402 square miles, and destroyed 11 homes, three commercial properties and 98 outbuildings before it was contained, officials said. Ten injuries were reported.

The fire's total cost is estimated at more than $127 million. It is thought to be California's third largest wildfire in recorded history, according to Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant.

It also damaged San Francisco Public Utilities Commission hydroelectric powerhouses and power transmission lines, and several summer camps owned by cities including San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose. Most notably, Berkeley's Tuolumne Family Camp, a popular site dating back to 1922, was destroyed.

Berkeley officials said last Friday in a statement that contractors have completed work on erosion control and testing for hazardous materials at the campsite. The city has obtained authorization to remove and dispose of fire debris.

City officials will start a “complex and lengthy” master development plan process with the U.S. Forest Service this fall. City staff have identified a number of possible temporary sites for family camp for next summer and meeting with a focus group to discuss the options, the statement said.

Officials with San Jose Family Camp, which lost some structures, said last week that camp will resume this summer, with a new online registration system set to launch in December.

San Francisco Recreation and Park Department officials are “hopeful” that they will be able to reopen Camp Mather in time for the camp's 90th year of operation, spokesman Elton Pon said. Pon did not have information on other events that take place at the camp, such as the Strawberry Music Festival.

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