ONE OF AMERICA'S MOST BEAUTIFUL AND BUSIEST NATIONAL PARKS -- is once again open for business.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK is welcoming A RETURN OF VISITORS AFTER A RARE CLOSURE THAT LASTED 20 DAYS.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Jamie Richards, Park Ranger: +++SOT PARTIALLY COVERED WITH PREVIOUS SHOT+++
"It's really exciting to be able to come into work today, to be here in the valley, to take a walk in the valley and to see not only a sense of normalcy but to see the energy in the air."
SMOKE STILL LINGERS -- AND FIREFIGHTERS CONTINUE TO SNUFF OUT FIRES THAT BURN NEAR THE PARK'S BORDERS -- SEVERAL MILES FROM THE SCENIC VALLEY.
BUT FOR TOURISTS - ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN DREAMING ABOUT YOSEMITE FOR MONTHS -- IT'S A WELCOME DEVELOPMENT.
SOUNDBITE (English) Jon Cressnan, Park Visitor +++SOT PARTIALLY COVERED WITH PREVIOUS SHOT+++
"We booked this about three or four months ago and pretty disappointed that it did so only going to be open. We actually fly out tomorrow. So pretty excited that we got to go in yesterday and today."
THERE'S LIMITED LODGING, AS WELL AS FOOD SERVICES, AND THE CLOSURE - DUE TO THE FERGUSON FIRE WHICH BEGAN OVER A MONTH AGO -- HAPPENED AT THE HEIGHT OF THE TOURIST SEASON -- COSTING THE PARK AND NEARBY COMMUNITIES MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN LOST REVENUE.
SOUNDBITE: (English) Tara Schiff, Mariposa Economic Development +++SOT PARTIALLY COVERED WITH PREVIOUS SHOT+++
"We're going to claim an economic injury with a closure of the park for over a month. It is ten times worse than it was last year."
ALTHOUGH AREA MERCHANTS ARE RELIEVED ABOUT THE REOPENING, THEY SAY IT WILL PROBABLY BE WEEKS BEFORE BUSINESS IS BACK TO NORMAL.