A 16,000-acre wildfire that started July 22 still raged close to Yosemite National Park on Monday, forcing thousands to evacuate and destroying surrounding nature.
Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Saturday for Mariposa County due to the Oak Fire, which has prompted over 3,000 residents to relocate. The cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire). (RELATED: Yosemite Forest Fire Threatens America’s Oldest Sequoia Trees)
The fire has spread to nearly 16,800 acres, and more than 2,500 firefighters and volunteers are working on site, the latest Cal Fire report stated. The firefighting resources involved include a total of 281 engines, 17 helicopters and 63 hand crews. (RELATED: California Wildfire Burns Nearly Half A Million Acres Becoming The Second Largest Fire In State History)
It started close to the Sierra Nevada near Midpines in the afternoon Friday and grew to almost 12,000 by Saturday evening, rapidly approaching the national park, according to CNN. The fire remains fast-moving, but fire activity was less extreme as of Monday morning. The containment of the fire is currently at 10%, according to Cal Fire.
Ten structures have been destroyed due to the flames, five others have been damaged and over 3,000 buildings are threatened by the potential spread, according to Cal Fire. (RELATED: This Video Shows The Lengths Firefighters Go To Squelch California’s Wildfire)
The Oak fire is reportedly the largest active fire in California, overtaking the 4,866-acre Washburn Fire that started July 7 and still challenges 694 firefighting personnel.
A total of over 8,800 wildfires burned more than 2.5 million acres in California during the 2021 fire season, Cal Fire revealed.