In this Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2018 image from a Yosemite Conservancy webcam, smoke from wildfires obscures the Ahwahnee Meadow at Yosemite National Park, Calif. Yosemite National Park could reopen its scenic valley and other areas Monday, Aug. 6, 2018, if conditions improve after a 12-day closure due to nearby wildfires. The park’s iconic cliffs have been shrouded in so much smoke that the air quality in Yosemite is currently worse than Beijing. (Webcam by Yosemite Conservancy via AP)

'Hazardous' smoky air shuts Yosemite in peak tourist season

August 04, 2018 - 1:06 pm

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Yosemite National Park's iconic cliffs are shrouded in so much smoke from nearby wildfires that the air quality in parts of the park is worse than Beijing.

The scenic Yosemite Valley and other areas have been closed since July 25 along with hundreds of campsites and hotels.

Officials tentatively plan to reopen the park Monday but will only do so if conditions improve.

The closure has dealt a financial blow to Yosemite at the height of the summer season and caused upheaval for thousands of tourists whose summer trips have been canceled.

British tourist Caroline Lansell is among those whose plans have been upended by the closure. She says she's "totally gutted" she can't visit Yosemite.

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