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JewishJournal.com

August 26, 2013

Yosemite Rim Fire damages Tawonga Jewish summer camp

http://www.jewishjournal.com/nation/article/yosemite_rim_fire_damages_tawonga_jewish_summer_camp

Firefighters work to prevent the Rim Fire from jumping Highway 120 near Buck Meadows, Calif., on Aug. 24. Photo by Max Whittaker/Reuters

Firefighters work to prevent the Rim Fire from jumping Highway 120 near Buck Meadows, Calif., on Aug. 24. Photo by Max Whittaker/Reuters

The largest wildfire in California’s history has led to the evacuation of a Jewish summer camp and destroyed at least one of its buildings.

The Yosemite Rim Fire triggered the cancellation of Camp Tawonga’s annual Keshet LGBTQ Family Camp, San Francisco’s j. weekly reported.

On Friday, Tawonga Executive Director Ken Kramarz said in a post on Facebook that one cabin had burned, and that downed power lines, fallen trees and “active fire” had made the last 1.5 miles of road to the camp impassable.

Earlier last week, camp director Jamie Simon-Harris emailed the board of directors and board alumni to report that the fire line was holding and flame retardant had been dumped on all “essential structures,” according to a report in the j. weekly.

“As Shabbat arrives tonight, I urge every Tawongan to pray for the safety of the firefighters,”  Kramarz wrote on Facebook.

In 1999, a forest fire destroyed several buildings on the perimeter of the camp, according to the j. weekly.

The fire is burning over 143,980 acres and is only 7 percent contained. On Monday, the fire destroyed the Berkeley Toulumne Family Camp, a city-owned camp for residents, the Bay City News reported.

In July, a falling tree at Camp Tawonga struck five counselors, killing one and severely injuring two others.

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