Wildfire near Yosemite destroys homes, causes evacuations in California
The wildfire near Yosemite National Park in California continues to grow.It already covers 6,800 hectares.
- The wildfire near Yosemite National Park in California continues to grow.
- It already covers 6,800 hectares and firefighters have contained just 10% of the fire.
- Homes have been destroyed and thousands evacuated.
The forest fire near Yosemite National Park in California continues to grow. It covers 6,800 hectares and firefighters have contained just 10% of the blaze amid the destruction of homes and the evacuation of thousands of people, authorities reported Monday, according to Vive USA, the AP and EFE.
The Oak fire started last Friday and has rapidly grown out of control due to the dry conditions and high temperatures. The state agency Cal Fire indicated on Monday that the destruction of seven residential structures has been confirmed while the fire continues “in hot, dry conditions and on rough and steep terrain.”
WHAT DID RESIDENTS DO?
Thousands of residents escaped from the Oak fire in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, a region experiencing the worst drought in decades. Cal Fire said 17 helicopters, 281 pump trucks, 66 bulldozers, 46 tank trucks, and 2,548 firefighters have been assigned to the job in efforts to protect homes from flames that reach 50 feet in some places.
The fire started on Friday southwest of the park near the town of Midpines in Mariposa County, and by Saturday authorities were describing “explosive fire behavior.” California Governor Gavin Newsom has declared a state emergency in that county where more than 3,000 people have evacuated their homes. Power service in the area was out Friday.
WHAT HAVE THE AUTHORITIES ORDERED?
Authorities have ordered evacuations in parts of Mariposa County to the south and east of where the flames continue to spread out of control. California, like most of the United States, has experienced weeks of very high temperatures, and ,in recent years, that state has been the scene of more extensive wildfires.
The National Fire Center said this morning that 93 large fires have burned nearly 1.3 million hectares in five states and a new major fire has been reported in Alaska, Arizona, Nebraska, Nevada and Texas. The National Weather Service indicated that on Monday “daily high temperature records will likely continue to be broken from Northern California to the Portland and Seattle metropolitan areas.” Filed Under: California Wildfire
HOW DID IT ALL START?
The Oak Fire began as firefighters made progress in their battle with an earlier fire, called the Washburn, which burned at the edge of a giant sequoia forest on the southern edge of Yosemite National Park. Authorities are trying to to prevent it from affecting more houses or populated areas.
“The vegetation is very receptive to new specific fires due to the hot, dry climate and drought. Heavy fuels, strong winds, and low humidity also influence fire behavior.” The agency has not yet determined the cause of the fire. Filed Under: California Wildfire
HOW MANY FIREFIGHTERS ARE BATTLING THE BLAZE?
The AP indicates that around 2,000 firefighters are fighting the flames, assisted by planes and bulldozers. They’re working under difficult conditions such as steep terrain and high temperatures, reported Cal Fire, the regional fire agency. The flames broke out Friday southwest of the park near the town of Midpines in Mariposa County. They quickly swept through dry brush, caused by the worst drought in decades.
By Sunday the fire had consumed more than 22 square miles (56 square kilometers) with zero containment, Cal Fire said. The cause is being investigated. Evacuation orders were issued for some 6,000 people in the Sierra Nevada area. The fire has forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. Filed Under: California Wildfire