Fast Moving Wildfire Near Yosemite Remains Uncontained
A fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite remains largely uncontained. The Washburn Fire, east of the Oak Fire, has scorched almost 4,900 acres, but officials say the fire is 79% contained. The fire had been a short-term threat to the giant sequoias in Mariposa Grove, but the situation has turned worse since firefighters were able to bring it under control.
Air quality in Yosemite Valley
As the week winds down and temperatures start to fall, the National Weather Service warns of unhealthy air quality in the Yosemite Valley. Smoke from the fast-moving wildfire is expected to continue to climb through the Sierra foothills into the Bay Area by Monday. While the air quality in the Bay Area isn’t expected to decline much, conditions in the valley were reported to be unhealthy near Placerville, Arnold, and Grass Valley.
More than a thousand square kilometers of forest and more than two50,000 acres of forest have been burned in the Rim Fire. The fire has destroyed 10 structures, damaged five, and forced the closure of the main entrance to Yosemite. More than 2,000 firefighters are battling the fire, which has forced the closure of the only road into the park. As of Sunday evening, the fire had burned through 2,044 acres, according to InciWeb, an interagency website that tracks wildfires.
As the fire continues to burn, the air quality in Yosemite Valley is worse than that of Beijing, which is renowned for its dangerous smog. The air quality in the area surpassed the EPA’s “safe” air quality level last week, which is 35 micrograms. High levels of particle matter can cause health impacts such as coughing, difficulty breathing, and even aggravated asthma symptoms. In addition to the increased risk of respiratory problems, thick smoke makes it difficult to see the famous rock formations. National Park Service webcams offer a look at the haze in different parts of the park.
The EPA has defined acceptable levels of particulate matter in the air, as defined by the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. Despite the EPA’s air quality standards, experts say the dangerous concentration of particulate matter from wildfire smoke has been associated with human health effects. A recent study in New York City suggested a connection between exposure to smoke from the fire and a higher risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Threat to unincorporated communities
A fast-moving wildfire in Yosemite National Park is posing a new threat to California’s unincorporated communities. While firefighters continue their battle against the blaze, heavy smoke from the blaze is sweeping the Sierra foothills. The National Weather Service reported that heavy smoke from the blaze was affecting areas north of Yosemite. As of Friday, the blaze had scorched about 5,000 acres. Although it has been declared 79% contained, firefighters still have to battle a blaze that has been burning in the park since last week.
As of July 10, the Cal Fire had destroyed about ten structures and threatened two thousand more. The fire has closed State Route 140 between Allred Road and Carstens Road, one of the main routes into Yosemite. In addition to being a major fire threat, the area is experiencing a long and dry summer, making the area more vulnerable to wildfires.
A California governor declared a state of emergency in Mariposa County as the fire raged toward Yosemite National Park. The fire has burned approximately 11,900 acres and has not yet reached containment. Hot, dry weather, drought conditions, and plentiful vegetation have all contributed to the fire’s rapid growth. A state of emergency allows public officials to change their operations and order actions that respond to the unfolding crisis. It also helps draw down additional resources to help fight the blaze.
The fire is a natural part of Yosemite, but the National Park has learned to manage it carefully. They study the impacts of fire on ecosystems and are taking steps to suppress any human-caused fires. Yosemite has also a long history of prescribed burns and mastication by heavy machinery. Although it’s too early to say whether the Mariposa grove will survive, early indications are that the trees will survive.
The Oak Fire continues to spread fast, fueled by persistent hot, dry weather and an abundance of dead trees. As of Sunday night, it had burned more than two thousand acres near the town of Midpines in Mariposa County, which lies south of Yosemite National Park. The fire is only seven percent contained, according to InciWeb. It continues to grow, with more than 2,000 acres burning overnight.
Expansion of fire
A large, rapidly spreading wildfire has burned more than 15,000 acres near Yosemite National Park, just west of Mariposa County. The fire, called the Oak fire, started in rural Mariposa County on Friday afternoon and is now about ten miles from the famous national park. The fire was first reported as covering 4,000 acres and grew to more than fifteen thousand acres by Sunday night. It is the largest fire to strike California this season.
Fire officials are urging residents to evacuate immediately because of the rapid spread of the Oak Fire. The fire has grown to nearly six square kilometers, requiring mandatory evacuations. It is currently zero percent contained, despite the efforts of more than 2,000 firefighters and 17 helicopters. Despite the efforts of firefighters, the fire is expected to continue growing on Sunday, due to intense heat and critical fuel moisture levels. In the meantime, dozens of homes and buildings were damaged or destroyed, and a large portion of the region is threatened by the blaze.
The fire was the cause of the closure of the southern entrance to Yosemite, forcing thousands of visitors to leave. It burned in the edge of the Mariposa Grove, home to hundreds of giant sequoias. Highway 140 between Carstens Road and Allred Road was closed, blocking the main access road to Yosemite. Despite the dangers, more than 400 firefighters are battling the blaze in the sparsely populated region. The blaze was fueled by hot, dry weather, bone-dry vegetation, and the worst drought in decades.
Fire officials say a fast-moving wildfire has destroyed or damaged at least ten homes in Mariposa County. It has forced more than 6,000 residents to evacuate their homes and a spokesman for the Sierra National Forest said more than three hundred homes were affected. Caltrans said it had closed Highway 140 between Carstens Road and Allred Road, blocking the main road into Yosemite National Park. Across the Sierra Foothills, huge columns of smoke hung over the area, and could be seen up to 50 miles away. State fire officials are investigating the cause of the wildfire.
Efforts to contain fire
The fast-moving Oak Fire has scorched more than 2,300 acres near Mariposa, California. This massive blaze is the result of persistent hot, dry weather, drought and abundant dead trees. The fire was uncontained as of Sunday night, despite the efforts of firefighters, and it threatens several mountain communities. It is not yet known what caused the fire, but scientists predict that climate change is to blame for its rapid spread.
The fire is moving rapidly and spitting embers for up to 2 miles. The cause of the fire is still unknown, but officials are saying that it is a combination of natural and human activities. Thousands of structures are in its path, and officials said they are still assessing the damage to protect them. Meanwhile, California’s state-run utilities reported that the fire has cut power to 2,600 homes and businesses.
Despite massive firefighting efforts by Cal Fire, the blaze has remained largely uncontained as it moved east. As of Sunday afternoon, it was burning near homes and parked vehicles. CNN affiliates reported that some residents were evacuating their homes. There is no word on what caused the fire to reach the towns of Midpines and Mariposa Pines.
The state of emergency has been declared in Mariposa County, which will allow for additional resources to be mobilized to fight the fire. Meanwhile, over 6,000 people have been evacuated in the rural area and Gov. Gavin Newsom has declared a state of emergency. Authorities are using helicopters, bulldozers and other resources to battle the blaze. The California drought has contributed to the blaze’s fast growth.