Oak Fire Prompts Yosemite-Area Evacuations, Threatens Forest

Another wildfire entangles the region

Oak Fire
Fire burns near a Smokey the Bear fire warning sign as the Oak Fire burns through the area on July 24, 2022 near Jerseydale, California.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In what’s become an all-too-familiar occurrence, one of the nation’s most beloved outdoor spaces is at risk from wildfires, and parts of a national park have been evacuated. In this case, it’s the result of the Oak Fire, which — as of this CNN report — had burned through over 14,000 acres. As of Sunday morning, CNN reported, the fire had been zero percent contained.

As the Washington Post reported earlier this weekend, over six thousand residents of the area around Yosemite National Park have also been evacuated from the region. Another effect of the wildfire? Power to a number of businesses and residences has been turned off.

Evacuation orders are not the only official response to the wildfire. California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County — currently the only county where this particular wildfire is burning.

The state’s website offers more details on the fire, including the fact that low levels of humidity have made fighting this particular fire more challenging. Authorities have had better luck with another fire in the same region, the Washburn Fire, which is now 79% contained. But the volume and frequency of these fires points to a larger area of concern — that as climate change intensifies, these areas will be facing a greater risk.

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