Yosemite National Park was closed Friday and hundreds of people ordered evacuated

A team was being sent to the Mariposa Grove to wrap some of the massive trunks in fire-resistant foil to protect them as the blaze burned out of control

More than 500 mature sequoias were threatened but there were no reports of severe damage to any named trees

The cause of the fire was under investigation

nearly 300 firefighters tried to control the flames with the help of two water-dropping helicopters

Lightning-sparked wildfires over the past two years have killed up to a fifth of the estimated 75,000 large sequoias

There was no obvious natural spark for the fire that broke out Thursday next to the park’s Washburn Trail

Smoke was reported by visitors walking in the grove

nside the park’s southern entrance, was evacuated and no one was injured., Phillipe said.

The fire had grown to 466 acres (188 hectares) by Friday evening, authorities said.