23.7 C
New York
Friday, June 9, 2023

The California Oak Fire quickly burned through nearly 12,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate outside Yosemite National Park.

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The fire, which was 0% containment Saturday night, began Friday in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near the small community of Midpines, about 9 miles northeast of the county seat, the town of Mariposa, the state fire officials speak.
Flames tore through trees and sent thick smoke into the sky Friday, and in at least one burned rural area near homes and parked vehicles, video from CNN affiliates KFSN and KGO showed.
“(Authorities) came … and told us everyone had to go,” said Wes Detamore, a resident of the Mariposa Pines area, tell KFSN Friday.
Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County after fires forced more than 3,000 people to evacuate their homes, according to a news release. New information posted from his office. Enabling an emergency allows additional resources to be available to assist with the fire response.

Electricity service in the area was down around 4 p.m. local time, “and the fire is moving toward us faster and faster,” Detamore said.

The fire destroyed at least 10 structures and damaged 5 others, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, known as Cal Fire, say saturday. The fire is threatening another 2,000 structures, Cal Fire said.
It burned 6,555 acres on Saturday morning, according to Cal Fire. The fire operation is extremely serious and emergency personnel are working to evacuate people and protect buildings, speak.

11 fire crews with more than 400 personnel, as well as 45 fire engines and four helicopters, were assigned to fight the blaze, Cal Fire said.

Evacuations were required for certain areas of Mariposa County south and east of the fire, as shown in an online map. The evacuation areas do not include the town of Mariposa.

A Red Cross evacuation center has been established at an elementary school in Mariposa, Cal Fire said.

The outbreak of fire occurred when much of the United States had experienced extreme heat wave This week, for parts of California, temperatures are in the triple digits.
Wildfires that have consumed the American West in recent years have become more common due to worsening drought conditions caused by climate change. In California alone, more than 2.5 million acres burned in nearly 9,000 fires last year Cal Fire.

The couple left with ‘only clothes on their backs’

Nick Smith told CNN that his parents’ home burned down as a result of the fire. His parents, Jane and Wes Smith, have lived at their Mariposa home for 37 years, he said.

“It’s sad to see that the house I grew up in and grew up in is gone,” he said. “It hit hard.”

Smith told CNN his father was the Mariposa police chief and was fighting fires when his mother, Jane, had to evacuate. She had time to load their horses and leave the area, according to Smith.

“They just have clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet,” he added.

Meanwhile, the couple is staying with friends and family. Smith created a GoFundMe Verified to support their parents and help them through the loss.

Smith wrote on GoFundMe: “They have lived in their house for over 37 years and have now lost everything. “37 years of memories, family treasures for generations, and countless other sentiments. Even though it’s only material, it’s devastating to lose everything literally in the blink of an eye without being notified. before.”

The blaze is several dozen miles southwest of Yosemite National Park’s southern edge, though the park is closer when measured in a straight line.

The Oak Fire is the largest of the currently active wildfires in California, numbering at least six a.m. Saturday morning, according to Cal Fire.
The second largest fire, the Washburn Fire, has been burning in and near southern Yosemite National Park for more than two weeks. Follow InciWeba United States fire information clearing agency.

CNN’s TIna Burnside contributed to this report.

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