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Wildfire in Yosemite hits reservoir

San Francisco

Wildfire in Yosemite hits reservoir

The giant wildfire burning in and around Yosemite National Park struck the shores of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir on Tuesday, threatening the pure mountain water that feeds the taps of 2.6 million San Francisco area residents.

San Francisco water managers, who operate the reservoir, reported that water quality had not been compromised. Fears that falling ash could pollute the supply have been addressed — at least for now — by diverting unsullied water from the 8-mile-long Hetch Hetchy to smaller back-up reservoirs in the Bay Area, should it be needed.

Moreover, water is drawn from 260 feet below the surface to avoid unwanted debris.

The fire, which began Aug. 17, has scorched 180,000 acres, or about 280 squares miles. Firefighters reported moderate progress Tuesday, estimating the blaze as 20 percent contained.

Washington

N. Korea may free American missionary

An American Christian missionary imprisoned in North Korea last year could be freed within days on humanitarian grounds, the Obama administration said Tuesday.

Kenneth Bae's family in the Seattle area says he is in deteriorating health.

In a deal worked out with the secretive regime, Robert King, a U.S. special envoy, will travel to North Korea on Friday and request a pardon for Bae, 45, before returning with the American, U.S. officials said.

Elsewhere

Boston: A federal judge on Tuesday sentenced former Salvadoran Col. Inocente Orlando Montano to 21 months in a U.S. prison for immigration violations. He is accused of planning the killing of six Jesuit priests during El Salvador's civil war in 1989 and may be extradited to Spain to face trial. Five of the priests were Spanish, and Spain is seeking his extradition.

Tunisia: The Islamist government on Tuesday declared the largest radical Islamist movement in the country — Ansar al-Shariah — a terrorist organization, broadening its crackdown on extremists and distancing itself from their violent activities.

Afghanistan: A two-day visit to Pakistan by President Hamid Karzai ended in muted disappointment Tuesday, with no agreements or specific statements on the key issues of Taliban peace talks, prisoner releases or shelter for insurgents.

Times wires

Wildfire in Yosemite hits reservoir 08/28/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, August 28, 2013 2:08am]

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