When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

eyes on the U.S.

California Fire Threatens Yosemite And San Francisco Water Supplies

BBC, AFP, CBS

Worldcrunch

GROVELAND — Firefighters are still struggling to contain the intense wildfire raging north of Yosemite National Park in California. Some 2,800 firefighters are battling the so-called Rim Fire, which covers 133,980 acres.

Yosemite Park spokesman Tom Medena told CBS News that the fire is edging closer to the source of San Francisco’s famously pure drinking water, known as the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. Californian Governor Jerry Brown has declared a state of emergency for the city, as the reservoir supplies the city with 85% of its water.

InciWeb (Incident Information System, which monitors fires in the western U.S.) reported that the fire was just seven percent contained. “It remained fairly active overnight in most all divisions,” the website added, and it showed “rapid rates of spread, torching and spotting” on its eastern edge.

[rebelmouse-image 27087334 alt="""" original_size="400x270" expand=1]

Photo: Elias Funez - Modesto Bee/ZUMA

It “is expected to continue to exhibit very large fire growth due to extremely dry fuels and inaccessible terrain,” according to InciWeb.

The BBC reports that the flames remain 20 miles away from Yosemite’s main tourist area. The park authorities thus have no plans to close as most of it is unaffected by the fire, though areas on the park’s northwestern edge have been closed throughout the week.

Investigators are trying to determine how the fire started Aug. 17 at Stanislaus National Forest, which, along with Yosemite, is the state’s primary natural tourist attraction. The Rim Fire is the most critical of a dozen burning across California.

Reuters video:

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

Sources

Indigenous Women Of Ecuador Set Example For Sustainable Agriculture

In southern Ecuador, a women-led agricultural program offers valuable lessons on sustainable farming methods, but also how to end violence.

Photo of women walking in Ecuador

Women walking in Guangaje Ecuador

Camila Albuja

SARAGURO — Here in this corner of southern Ecuador, life seems to be like a mandala — everything is cleverly used in this ancestral system of circular production. But the women of Saraguro had to fight and resist to make their way of life, protecting the local water and the seeds. When weaving, the women share and take care of each other, also weaving a sense of community.

With the wrinkled tips of her fingers, Mercedes Quizhpe, an indigenous woman from the Kichwa Saraguro people, washes one by one the freshly harvested vegetables from her garden. Standing on a small bench, with her hands plunged into the strong torrent of icy water and the bone-chilling early morning breeze, she checks that each one of her vegetables is ready for fair day. Her actions hold a life of historical resistance, one that prioritizes the care of life through the defense of territory and food sovereignty.

Mercedes' way of life is also one that holds many potential lessons for how to do agriculture and tourism better.

In the province of Loja, work begins before sunrise. At 5:00 a.m., the barking of dogs, the guardians of each house, starts. There is that characteristic smell of damp earth from the morning dew. Sheep bah uninterruptedly through the day. With all this life around, the crowing of early-rising roosters doesn't sound so lonely.

Keep reading...Show less

You've reached your limit of free articles.

To read the full story, start your free trial today.

Get unlimited access. Cancel anytime.

Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.

Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries.

The latest