DISASTERS

Weather slows Yosemite wildfire that forced the dozens of visitors to evacuate by helicopter

  • In this photo provided by Yosemite National Park, smoke from a fire rises above Little Yosemite Valley near Yosemite National Park, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. About 100 Yosemite National Park visitors were evacuated by helicopter Sunday when a wildfire that started weeks ago in the park's backcountry grew unexpectedly to at least 700 acres, officials said. (AP Photo/Yosemite National Park)

    In this photo provided by Yosemite National Park, smoke from a fire rises above Little Yosemite Valley near Yosemite National Park, Calif., Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014. About 100 Yosemite National Park visitors were evacuated by helicopter Sunday when a wildfire that started weeks ago in the park's backcountry grew unexpectedly to at least 700 acres, officials said. (AP Photo/Yosemite National Park)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, photo provided by Rachael Kirk, climbers view a wildfire from the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A wildfire burning for weeks in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park grew unexpectedly, forcing the helicopter evacuation of about 100 park visitors. Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said some of the evacuees Sunday included hikers who had climbed the park's iconic Half Dome peak, rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley. Others had to be airlifted from campgrounds and hiking trails in the area. (AP Photo/Rachael Kirk)

    In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, photo provided by Rachael Kirk, climbers view a wildfire from the top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif. A wildfire burning for weeks in the backcountry of Yosemite National Park grew unexpectedly, forcing the helicopter evacuation of about 100 park visitors. Park spokeswoman Kari Cobb said some of the evacuees Sunday included hikers who had climbed the park's iconic Half Dome peak, rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley. Others had to be airlifted from campgrounds and hiking trails in the area. (AP Photo/Rachael Kirk)  (The Associated Press)

  • In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, photo provided by Michael Frye, a wildfire burns next to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif.  As of Monday, the fire has burned through about four square miles. (AP Photo/www.michaelfrye.com)

    In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014, photo provided by Michael Frye, a wildfire burns next to Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, Calif. As of Monday, the fire has burned through about four square miles. (AP Photo/www.michaelfrye.com)  (The Associated Press)

Cooler weather has slowed the spread of a wildfire that forced the helicopter evacuation of dozens of people from the famous Half Dome rock in Yosemite National Park.

High humidity and scattered rain showers on Monday tamped down the fire, which had burned about 4 square miles of timberland, said Kari Cobb, a park ranger.

The fire wasn't threatening any buildings. The park remained open, but some campsites were closed.

About 120 firefighters and 11 aircraft fought the blaze, which may have erupted from embers of a fire sparked by lightning several weeks ago, officials said.

Firefighters had monitored and controlled that fire before winds and temperatures increased on Sunday, fanning flames that grew out of control.

About 100 people were evacuated from Little Yosemite Valley, and 80 to 85 were removed by helicopter from the top of 5,000-foot Half Dome.

Rachael Kirk, 26, of Oakland, said she and two friends had reached an outcropping about 400 feet below the summit when they saw the fire rage.

From the outcropping, called the subdome, hikers must climb a board-and-cable stairway up the rock face to reach the top.

Kirk, who was hiking to Half Dome for the first time, said she didn't want to go up the cables, but a park employee insisted.

"He said there was no way to land the helicopter except on top of Half Dome," Kirk said. "That was the moment everyone felt scared."

"One woman freaked out," she said. "They gave her a makeshift harness and helped her out on the cable."

Kirk said the climb and the airlift weren't something she wanted to repeat.

"It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, but I don't think I'll do it again," Kirk said.