Fueled by extreme heat and dry forests and brush, a wildfire just west of Yosemite National Park spread overnight, quickly becoming one of the largest wildfires of the year and forcing thousands of residents to evacuate their homes, they said. fire officials.
Authorities said that Oak Fire, which is zero percent contained, threatened to destroy about 2,000 homes on Saturday and about 3,000 people were evacuated. By early Sunday morning, media reports said 6,000 people had been told to leave.
The cause of the fire, which started on Friday and has burned about 14,281 acres, is being investigated by Cal Fire.
“The weather today is expected to remain warm with minimum humidity between 5 and 10 percent, which will hamper firefighting efforts,” said a fire report issued early Sunday. “High tree mortality and dense fuels are present throughout the fire area.”
Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County due to the Oak Fire. The proclamation allows the state to access federal money and resources to fight the blazes.
Yosemite, about an hour’s drive from the fire, is home to some of the largest and oldest redwood trees in the world. The redwoods were threatened by another wildfire earlier this month, but firefighters were able to save them.
Separately, in Idaho, two firefighters died after their helicopter crashed Saturday while battling the Moose Fire in a rural area near the Montana border, according to the Lemhi County Sheriff’s Office.
Last year marked California’s worst fire season on record in terms of total area burned, with more than 4 million acres and more than 10,000 homes and other structures destroyed. At least 33 lives were lost. More than 10 million acres burned in the flames in many western states.
Thousands Evacuated as Oak Fire Grows West of Yosemite National Park Source link Thousands Evacuated as Oak Fire Grows West of Yosemite National Park