Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park forces thousands to evacuate

Firefighters mop up hot spots while battling the Oak Fire in the Jerseydale community of Mariposa County, Calif., on Monday, July 25, 2022. They are part of Task Force Rattlesnake, a program comprised of Cal Fire and California National Guard firefighters. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Firefighters mop up hot spots while battling the Oak Fire in the Jerseydale community of Mariposa County, Calif., on Monday, July 25, 2022. They are part of Task Force Rattlesnake, a program comprised of Cal Fire and California National Guard firefighters. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

OAN NEWSROOM
UPDATED 10:53 AM PT – Monday, July 25, 2022

Thousands of firefighters are battling a rapidly moving wildfire, which continues to burn near Yosemite National Park. The Oak Fire erupted in Mariposa County, California on Friday and has scorched more than 15,000 acres with zero containment.

Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has declared a state of emergency for the county as thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes. The Oak Fire has become the largest wildfire in the state so far this season.

Cal Fire described the blaze as “explosive” as the fire destroyed several homes and damaged critical infrastructure. Around 2,000 firefighters are battling the Oak Fire using aircraft and bulldozers amid tough conditions, which include steep terrain, scorching temperatures and an ongoing drought.

This comes as firefighters are making progress on the Washburn Fire, which is burning within Yosemite. Governor Newsom has declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County and the Red Cross has established its main evacuation center at an elementary school. Red Cross officials said they are doing their best to provide a safe space as residents hold on to hope amid fear and uncertainty.

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