California firefighters slow the spread of Oak Fire near Yosemite

2021 National Wildfire Mitigation

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According to the latest update from Cal Fire, Monday was a successful day for aircraft and firefighters, resulting in minimal growth of the Oak Fire that that began on Friday and has since spread rapidly in forcing thousands of evacuations in the nearby area.

Helicopters dropped 300,000 gallons of water on the fire and crews continued to construct control lines and extinguish hot spots along existing lines. Cal Fire said fire is moving in a northeast direction and fire crews are working aggressively using bulldozers, hand crews and aircraft. Evacuation orders were reduced to fire advisements in some areas.

Fire restrictions and closures near the fire area are in place on the Sierra National Forest. This closure will support public safety by keeping public members out of hazardous burn areas and will allow firefighting resources to combat the Fire without public interference. 

The Oak Fire that closed within half a mile (0.8 km) from the town of Mariposa Pines, 10 miles (16 km) from Yosemite. By Monday evening, the fire had consumed 17,241 Acres and was 16 per cent contained.

More than 2,000 first responders from state and federal agencies were reportedly battling the blaze, attacking it both from the ground and the air. Fire officials said at least 21 homes and 34 other structures have been destroyed.

Around 3,800 people were under evacuation orders, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese told a public briefing at a crowded auditorium in the town of Mariposa, the county seat. Cal Fire officials said they had robust firefighting teams on scene early on, but the fire progressed atypically and overran their best efforts.

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