Washburn Fire continues to tear through Yosemite National Park

Seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., an air tanker drops fire retardant on the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park on Monday, July 11, 2022. California firefighters have gained ground against the wildfire that poses a threat to a famous grove of giant sequoias and a small community in Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

Seen from unincorporated Mariposa County, Calif., an air tanker drops fire retardant on the Washburn Fire burning in Yosemite National Park on Monday, July 11, 2022. California firefighters have gained ground against the wildfire that poses a threat to a famous grove of giant sequoias and a small community in Yosemite National Park. (AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez)

OAN NEWSROOM
UPDATED 8:46 AM PT – Friday, July 15, 2022

The Washburn Fire has continued to tear through Yosemite National Park. According to officials, the fire has burned over 4,400 acres and is 23 percent contained as of Thursday evening.

It has now moved-on to the Sierra National Forest, though officials say the lands affected are less than 1 percent of the 1.3 million acre forest. Hundreds of firefighters have been racing against time to contain the blaze, which has threatened  communities and ancient Sequoia trees.

The fire was first reported on July 7 and residents of the Wawona community and campers were immediately evacuated. Fire crews used several tactics to protect more than 500 Sequoias in the park’s Mariposa Grove. The flames are being fueled by extreme heat and dry conditions.

Crews are tracking the fire from above and using air tanker planes to drop fire-retardant chemicals on the blaze. They are also using bulldozers to create containment lines and wrapping some of the Sequoias with protective foil. The southern portion of Yosemite is closed to visitors, but the rest of the national park remains open.

The Washburn Fire is one of dozens of blazes burning in the Western US.

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