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Poor air quality closes Camp Mather

Poor air quality near Yosemite National Park from the Ferguson wildfire, one of many wildfires burning throughout the state, has prompted the closure of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department-run Camp Mather.

The historic family camp, located in Groveland in Tuolumne County, will reopen on Sunday, recreation and parks officials said.

Campers at Camp Mather were informed about the closure this morning and have been offered a refund for the full week.

The Ferguson Fire has burned more than 57,000 acres in the nearby area since it began on July 13. Two people have died in the fire.

Similarly, Camp Tawonga, a camp for Bay Area Jewish youth, also located in Groveland, was closed Tuesday due to poor air quality from the fire, according to camp officials.

The hundreds of youth at the camp have been evacuated.

According to camp officials, the unhealthy air quality is a result of increased smoke coming from controlled back-burns by firefighters, created to establish fire breaks.

The controlled back-burning is likely to end Thursday, translating in improved air quality by Thursday, camp officials said.

The camp is expected to reopen on Sunday.

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