Jul 29, 2022 - Energy & Environment

Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park razes at least 135 structures

A chimney is all that remains of a residence burned by the Oak Fire near Mariposa on July 27.
A chimney is all that remains of a structure burned by the Oak Fire near Mariposa on July 27. Photo: Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Oak Fire burning on the outskirts of Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County, California has destroyed at least 135 structures and has damaged at least 10 others, Cal Fire said in an incident update on Thursday.

Why it matters: The wildfire has forced thousands of people to evacuate the area and has burned more than 19,100 acres, making it the state's largest so far this fire season.

By the numbers: The Oak Fire was 42% contained as of Thursday evening after being active for six days, Cal Fire said. The blaze also grew by 367 acres.

  • As of Thursday, 3,794 fire personnel had responded to the fire, according to Inciweb, an inter-agency incident information site.

What they're saying: Crews extended fire lines into steep areas "that are extremely difficult to access," while strengthening control lines and patrolling for hot spots, Cal Fire said.

  • "Today was hotter and drier as expected, but cloud cover in the area prevented further drying and heating of fuels. Monsoonal moisture is expected to return early next week which should lower temperature and raise humidity levels. Damage inspection will continue until the entire fire area is assessed," it added.

Thought bubble, via Axios' Andrew Freedman: California is in the midst of an extreme drought, and periods of hot, windy weather between now and mid-to-late fall are likely to ramp up wildfire risk across the state.

  • Studies show that climate change is leading to more days with extreme wildfire weather conditions as well as large blazes.

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