The wildfire in Yosemite National Park, dubbed the Oak Fire, continues to burn Sunday for the third straight day and has tripled in size. The fire has burned more than 14,000 acres and forced thousands of local residents to evacuate Mariposa County.
The Oak fire started in the Sierra Nevada foothills on Friday and is nowhere near contained as of Sunday morning, according to California Fire officials. It’s the third forest fire in three weeks.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County, which has a population of about 17,000 and is about 170 miles east of San Francisco.
“The fire remained active throughout the night, moving towards the communities of Jerseydale, Darrah and Bootjack. Poor moisture recovery was observed overnight,” Cal Fire said in a statement.
Conditions are not expected to ease, which is of greater concern to the region.
“High tree mortality and dense fuels are found throughout the fire area. The fire evacuation and notices remain in effect. Damage inspection teams are beginning to assess areas affected by the fire,” the statement said.
The Oak wildfire near Yosemite National Park erupted Friday afternoon, growing to 10.2 square miles on Saturday and prompting widespread evacuation orders in Mariposa County, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. pic.twitter.com/5KXjO9kB6t
— CBS News (@CBSNews) July 23, 2022
The fires were fueled by the 100-degree temperatures and fierce winds in the severely parched vegetation areas. Temperatures are expected to remain in the high 90s for the remainder of the week. Wind gusts on Sunday reached 16 miles per hour.
“It’s really challenging because of the amount of heat in this fuel. It makes it difficult for our firefighters to fight these fires,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Jon Heggie told ABC News.
The National Weather Service has warned of the extreme heat causing heat-related illnesses. Most of the US was warned of heatwaves last week, affecting over 100 million people.
A wildfire near Yosemite National Park has burned down more than 6,500 acres. Authorities said it was California’s fastest-growing fire of the season. pic.twitter.com/e6lcCAvYn4
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 23, 2022
Rapid pyrocumulus cloud development took place on the #oakfire near Mariposa for the past 15 minutes as the fire continues to spread at a critical rate.
— US StormWatch (@US_Stormwatch) July 22, 2022
https://www.ibtimes.com.au/wildfire-near-yosemite-national-park-burns-third-straight-day-1834092?utm_source=Public&utm_medium=Feed&utm_campaign=Distribution Wildfire near Yosemite National Park burns for third straight day