Oak Fire Grows to 16,791 Acres with Thousands of Structures Threatened Near Yosemite

Just as firefighters began to clean up the Washburn Fire in Yosemite National Park, the Oak Fire erupted nearby on July 22, quickly growing to 16,791 acres and forcing thousands to flee the flames. The fire has already burned 7 homes and threatens 3,271 more as it burned through Mariposa County. The fire currently sits at 10 percent containment.

More than 2,000 fire personnel have been dispatched into the rugged wilderness area near Midpines to fight the fire in hot, dry conditions. On Saturday, the fire got so intense that it sent a pyrocumulus cloud 25,000 feet into the air. The extreme fire conditions have become the norm in California in recent years, and CalFire personnel have done their best to control fire in these conditions.

“It’s hot out there again today,” Cal Fire spokesperson Natasha Fouts said Sunday. “And the fuel moisture levels are critically low.”

There are currently more than 6,000 people evacuated from the area, though some people chose to defy orders and stay to protect their property. That decision could be deadly.

“We urge people to evacuate when told,” said Adrienne Freeman with the U.S. Forest Service.. “This fire is moving very fast.”

Roads have been closed throughout the region including State Route 140, which sits as one of the main entrances into Yosemite National Park. The popular park remains open, but poor air quality is choking out anyone who decided to visit anyway. The smoke has moved all the way down to Lake Tahoe, creating a public health emergency for many outdoor adventurers in Northern California.

The Oak Fire began just after the Washburn Fire, which burned through the Mariposa Grove – the largest collection of mature trees on the planet. Due to extensive fuel treatment programs in the region over the past 50 years, the legendary sequoia trees were spared.

Here is more information on the fire:

Road Closures

  • Highway 140 from Highway 49N to Ponderosa Way
  • Carstens Road, Triangle Road from Highway 140 to Highway 49 and all side roads
  • Jerseydale Road
  • Silva Road from Cole Road to Triangle Road
  • Wass RoadTip Top Road
  • Darrah at 49
  • Westfall from Triangle to Oliver Creek
  • McNally Road
  • Woodland Drive
  • Brooks Road
  • Bootjack Lane
  • Cole Road
  • Carlton from Triangle to Morningstar
  • Allred from Highway 140 to Morningstar
  • Morningstar from Carlton to Allred including all side roads
  • Ponderosa Way including all side roads
  • Silva Road including all side roads.

Evacuation Orders:

  • Carstens Road
  • Buckingham Mountain Road
  • Plumbar Creek Road
  • Triangle Road from Hwy 140 to Darrah
  • Jerseydale and all side roads
  • Lushmeadows Subdivision
  • Triangle Road from Darrah Road to Westfall Road and all side roads
  • Boyer Road from Highway 49S and all side roads
  • Darrah Road from Highway 49S to Triangle Road including all side roads
  • Triangle Road from 49S to Westfall Road and all side roads including Triangle Park
  • Tip Top RoadWass Road
  • Westfall from Triangle to Oliver Creek
  • Silva Road from Cole to Triangle including all side roads
  • Ginger Trish Road
  • Cole Road to Darrah Road including all side roads
  • McNally Road
  • Highway 49S from Darrah Road to Triangle Road (east side only)
  • Woodland Drive
  • Brooks Road
  • Carlton from Triangle to Morningstar Lane
  • Morningstar from Carlton to Allred Rd including all side roads
  • Indian Rock Lane
  • Allred from 140 to Morningstar
  • Westside of Highway 140 from Triangle Road to Allred Road.
  • Carlton Road from Morningstar to Silva Road including all side roads
  • Silva Road from Carlton to Hwy 49S including all side road
  • Shaffer Road from Silva Road to Allred RoadHwy 49S from Silva to Darrah Road (on the Bootjack Market Side)
  • Hwy 140 from Triangle Road to Ponderosa Way (on the Midpines Market side of Hwy 140), Ponderosa Way from Hwy 140 to Feliciana Mountain Rd and all side roads
  • Sweetwater Ridge / Mine areaFeliciana Mountain Road
  • Ferguson / Apperson Mine Road areaSavage Lundy Trail
  • Hites Cove RoadFootman Ridge area
  • Devils Gulch area.

Evacuation Warnings

  • Highway 140 from Oak Road to East Whitlock
  • Oak Road from Hwy 140 to Yosemite Oaks
  • Yosemite Oaks Road from East Whitlock to Highway 140, Chamberlain Rd
  • Allred Road from Morningstar to Highway 49S
  • Carlton Road from Morningstar to Highway 49S and all side roads
  • Highway 49S from Indian Peak to Triangle Road
  • Indian Peak from Hwy 49S to Usona Road and all side roads
  • East Whitlock from Hwy 140 to Yosemite Oaks Rd
  • Stumpfield Mountain Road from Highway 49S to the Madera County Line including all side roads
  • East Westfall from Oliver Creek to Chowchilla Mountain Road
  • Chowchilla Mountain Road from 49S to East Westfall
  • Ponderosa Subdivision including: all of Chowchilla Mountain Road and all side roads, all of Harris Cutoff Road and all side roads
  • all of Harris Road and all side roads
  • 5S25 and 4S04
  • Highway 49S from Chowchilla Mountain Road to Harris Road on the Chowchilla Mountain Road side.
  • Highway 49S from Triangle Road to the Madera County Line including all side roads (This includes: Watt Road, Watt Road Extension, Harris Road Kimble Road and all side roads)
  • Highway 140 from Ponderosa Way to Briceburg both sides of the road
  • Colorado from Highway 140 to East Whitlcok
  • Rancheria Creek Road
  • Davis Road
  • Wilderness View Road
  • Rumley Mine Road
  • Grojean Road from Highway 140 to Foran Road including all side roads
  • Foran Road to East Whitlock
  • East Whitlock from Foran to Highway 140 including all side roads
  • Devils Gulch to Signal Peak Area including Chowchilla Mountain Road

A Fire Advisement is NOT an evacuation Order, it is simply to advise residents in the area of the potential need to evacuate should conditions change. Allowing those in the affected area to plan and prepare.

Evacuation Centers:

Mariposa Elementary School, 5044 Jones St. Mariposa.

Active NorCal

Northern California's Outdoor Digital Newsmagazine

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