California’s fast-moving Oak Fire burns nearly 12,000 acres and forces evacuations outside Yosemite National Park

The fire, which was 0% contained as of Saturday evening, started Friday near the small community of Midpines in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, about 9 miles northeast of the county seat, the city of Mariposa, state fire officials said. said.
Flames tore through trees and sent thick smoke into the sky, and burned near homes and parked vehicles in at least one rural area, CNN affiliate video showed. KFSN And KGO showed.
“(Officers) came and … told us everybody had to go,” Mariposa Pines resident Wes Detamore said. told KFSN Friday.

Power was out in the area around 4 p.m. Friday, “and the fire was coming at us faster and faster,” Detamore said.

The fire destroyed at least 10 structures and damaged five more, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection called the Cal Fire. said Saturday. The fire threatens 2,000 other structures, Cal Fire said.
It had burned 6,555 acres as of Saturday morning, according to Cal Fire. Fire activity was intense, and emergency crews were working to evacuate people and protect buildings, the department said said.

Cal Fire said 11 fire brigades with more than 400 personnel, as well as 45 fire engines and four helicopters were deployed to douse the blaze.

Evacuations have been ordered for parts of southern and eastern Mariposa County, as shown in the fire. An online map. The evacuation areas do not include the city of Mariposa.

Cal Fire said a Red Cross evacuation center has been set up at an elementary school in Mariposa.

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Couples left with ‘only the clothes on their backs’

Nick Smith told CNN his parents’ home was destroyed by the fire. His parents, Jane and Wes Smith, lived in their Mariposa home for 37 years.

“It’s very sad to see the house I grew up in and grew up in,” she said. “It hits hard.”

Smith told CNN that his father was a Mariposa sheriff and his mother, Jane, was working on the fire when she had to leave. According to Smith, she had time to mount their horses and leave the area.

“They only had clothes on their backs and shoes on their feet,” he added.

In the meantime, the couple is staying with friends and family. Created by Smith Verified GoFundMe To support his parents and help them cope with their loss.

“They lived in their home for over 37 years and now have lost everything,” Smith wrote on GoFundMe. “37 years of memories, generations of family treasures, and countless sentimental items. Even if these are objects, losing them all in the blink of an eye is devastating.”

The blaze is a few dozen miles southwest of the southern edges of Yosemite National Park, although the park is closer when measured in a straight line.

The Oak Fire, the largest of the currently active wildfires in California, was at least six as of Saturday morning. According to Call Fire.
The second largest, the Washburn Fire, has been burning in and near South Yosemite National Park for more than two weeks. It has burned more than 4,850 acres and was 79% contained as of Saturday morning InciWebUS clearinghouse for fire information.

CNN’s TIna Burnside contributed to this report.

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