A midsummer fire in California spreads to nearly 12,000 acres, threatening homes

The California oak fire, which began Friday as a 60-acre blaze in remote mountains and quickly became a social media shocker, reached nearly 12,000 acres as of Saturday night, had destroyed 10 buildings, damaged five others and nearly 2,700 other buildings in the area threatened .

It is spectacular Images of blazing flames and a churning cloud of smoke are a symptom of wildfire in a growth spurt, said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Hector Vasquez.

As of late Saturday, the fire was zero percent contained, firefighters reported.

On Friday, the fire produced a column of pyrocumulus smoke that could be seen from Reno, Nevada, on the other side of the Sierra Nevada. On Saturday, NASA released satellite images showing that the smoke plume from the fire was seen from the side International Space Station.

That Twitter account for the county’s interactive map, which includes areas affected by evacuation orders, proclaimed, “It just got worse.”

The National Interagency Coordination Center for Wildfire Response said Saturday the Oak Fire was a product of “extreme fire behavior involving running, distant viewing and single tree flaring.”

Vasquez said the fire’s rapid growth shows the potential to become one of the state’s six-figure acreage megafires yet to appear this summer despite a third straight year of drought. a warmer than normal springand blazing heat that began before the equinoxthe meteorological start of the season.

Firefighters are hoping for good luck that would nullify at least one of the factors fueling the oak fire – dry fuel, hot temperatures and adequate wind. Conditions so far are ideal, including brittle dead trees and branches felled by a bark beetle infestation and a weather forecast that suggests little calm.

“We have the wind, the steep terrain and the dry conditions,” said Vasquez.

The National Weather Service forecasts high temperatures in the mid 90s for the next seven days, with prevailing low humidity and light winds.

One thing firefighters can control is human reaction.

Calfire and its state and local partners have deployed more than 400 employees to Oak Fire. You’ll struggle with its northward movement into the Sierra National Forest and its tendency to grow through spot fires that thrive on the dry, bug-damaged fuel.

Yosemite National Forest is just about 30 miles east of the Torso of Fire. The park has already dodged a bullet when the separate Washburn fire threatened its prized redwoods, but was almost entirely included without taking any of them out.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office on Saturday secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency that will prop up firefighting resources by allowing the state to bill the federal government for much of the Oak Fire response.

Newsom said Saturday that Mariposa County is under a state of emergency as a result of the Oak Fire. The statement clears the way for more government resources to fight fires and eventual rescue.

Mandatory evacuations apply to several neighborhoods in Mariposa County, with several more added to an “advisory list” of communities that should be packed up and operational. Newsom’s office said more than 3,000 Mariposa County residents were evacuated late Saturday.

The cause of the fire was determined.


Todd Miyazawa and Alex Lo contributed.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/midsummer-fire-california-expands-nearly-12000-acres-threatens-homes-rcna39721 A midsummer fire in California spreads to nearly 12,000 acres, threatening homes

Fry Electronics Team

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