Local firefighters reported Sunday night that the Oak Fire now burned over 15,600 acres of land as the fast-moving California wildfire grows in size as the country struggles through sweltering temperatures. Furthermore, the fire department said that the fire activity is not as extreme as in the last few days, and firefighters are trying to overcome the situation with positive developments.
California’s fire department said that the fast-moving Oak wildfire continues to grow, has now burned around 15,600 acres of land, and is still uncontrolled. The officials evacuated over six thousand individuals, while the fire destroyed ten structures.#californiafire pic.twitter.com/dr4sTyO9MK
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On Sunday, the firefighters deployed hand crews, bulldozers, and air tankers to contain the growing wildfire west of Yosemite National Park, which suddenly became one of the year’s biggest fires. The concerned authorities evacuated more than six thousand people from the region to save their lives. Moreover, the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection reported that the fire destroyed ten structures and around 3270 structures, including homes and businesses, are under severe threat.
During a Sunday night community meeting, an official said they hoped the blaze would start to contain quickly. However, Mariposa County declared a state of emergency on Saturday and will allow the state to access some federal support to combat the fires. Additionally, the blaze scale marks a threatening beginning to the wildfire season in California, and officials warned that a combination of overgrown vegetation, climate change, and drought poses significant challenges and raises the chances of the fire spreading quickly.
The heatwave across the United States
Much of the U.S. is blistering through a severe heatwave, and officials are releasing heat advisory warnings in more than a dozen states. On Sunday, temperatures in Mariposa County hit 100F and are likely to stay high for the coming days. Yosemite National Park is home to some of the oldest and largest sequoia trees globally. Earlier this month, another blaze threatened redwoods, but firefighter teams managed to save them.
On Friday, the United States Forest Service said that the department is taking emergency actions to protect the trees, including stripping off low-lying vegetation that can drive more fires. Global climate change increases the risk of dry and hot weather that fuels wildfires. The world temperature has risen by around 1.1C since the start of the industrial era, and temperatures will keep soaring unless governments make significant emissions cuts.
In recent weeks, many European governments struggled to control many wildfires that broke across the continent. Over two decades of increasing and drought temperatures conspired to make California more dangerous than ever for wildfires, with the two most ravaging years on record coming in last year and 2020, when over 2.75 hectares burned, an area more than the size of Rwanda.
Overall, more than twenty-five hundred personnel are combating the flames. According to Cal Fire, the rescue and fire teams utilize around two hundred and eighty fire engines, over a dozen helicopters, and forty-six water tenders to carry large accounts of water. In addition, the Forest Service announced yesterday that they closed some areas of the Sierra National Forest amid the fire.