SF filling reservoirs in as fire approaches supply

Associated Press
Inmate firefighters walk along Highway 120 as firefighters continue to battle the Rim Fire near Yosemite National Park, Calif., on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013. Fire crews are clearing brush and setting sprinklers to protect two groves of giant sequoias as a massive week-old wildfire rages along the remote northwest edge of Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
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TUOLUMNE CITY, Calif. (AP) — San Francisco water authorities are scrambling to fill area reservoirs with water from their source in the Sierra Nevada before ash from a wildfire near Yosemite National Park taints supplies.

Ash from the 234-square-mile fire has been falling on the city's Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite, but so far hasn't sunk far enough into the lake to reach intake pumps.

General Manager Harlan Kelly Jr. of the city's Public Utilities Commission said Monday the city has a six-month supply on hand. If ash eventually causes turbidity, the city will begin filtering supplies. He was unsure of the cost.

The agency also is checking 12 miles of hydroelectric transmission lines that supply city facilities. An emergency declaration has allowed the city to spend $600,000 for power on the open market.

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