The fire threatens the endangered sequoias.
The Oak Fire in California by Yosemite Park exploded to over 15,000 acres on Saturday.
Here is a screenshot to give you an idea of where it is:
Here is a larger screenshot:
Authorities started an investigation into the cause of the fire. The spark didn’t take long to grow into a full wildfire.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County:
The Oak Fire was sparked just after 2 pm Friday near the community of Midpines between Mariposa and Yosemite National Park. By evening, it had reached the Sierra National Forest.
In a Sunday morning update, CAL FIRE says that 10 structures have been destroyed, 5 are damaged, and 2,693 remain under threat from the wildfire.
More than 2,000 fire personnel are fighting to control the flames from ground and from air, racing against time with the fire burning dangerously close to homes and buildings.
Governor Newsom has secured federal funding to keep resources moving in. Crews from across the state have already started to arrive.
The fire caused over 3,800 residents to evacuate.
Authorities have not contained the fire at all. Resources from out of state keep coming in, but the fire is fed with hot temperatures, low humidity, and dry vegetation. The wings should die down, though, which will help a lot.
Firefighters contained 79% of the Washburn Fire, which you can see in the second screenshot. They do not think the two fires will combine.
The fire also endangers the endangered sequoias:
Meanwhile, the U.S. Forest Service announced Friday it’s taking emergency action to save giant sequoias by speeding up projects to protect the trees from the increasing threat of wildfires.
The Save Our Sequoias (SOS) Act was introduced by a bipartisan group of congressman including House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy.
The SOS acts calls for intentionally lighting smaller trees and vegetation during damp conditions with firefighters monitoring.
“The Forest Service’s action today is an important step forward for Giant Sequoias, but without addressing other barriers to protecting these groves, this emergency will only continue,” the group said. “It’s time to codify this action by establishing a true comprehensive solution to fireproof every grove in California through the SOS Act and save our sequoias.”
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