Saturday , May 25 2024

300-Acre Wildfire Burns Near Oakhurst

A 500+ – acre wildfire is burning in the Sierra National Forest. The Sky Fire is burning six miles from Oakhurst, and is 30 percent contained.

No injuries have been reported.

The wildfire is believed to have started around 2:30 p.m. Thursday from a vehicle fire on Sky Ranch Road. The fire spread into the vegetation and quickly grew from there.

"The fire started as a result of the truck and the travel trailer. [I’m] not  sure what the circumstances were– if he overheated, but the vehicle caught  fire, and the fire extended into the wildland," said Ron Eldridge with the  Madera Division Cal Fire.

Evacuations have been ordered for all nearby campgrounds: Greys Mountain, Soquel, Calvin Crest, and along 632 up to Bayshore.

About 300 to 400 homes are threatened by the fire.

The American Red Cross has opened up a shelter at the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church located at 39696 Hwy 41 in Oakhurst.

About 200 firefighters from Cal Fire and the U.S. Forest Service are working to fight the wildfire. They’re using seven airtankers and two helicopters.

Drought conditions are contributing to how quickly the fire spread.

"After four years of drought, a lot of tree mortality, lot of decadent brush in this area–so very receptive fuel bed. So once it got started, resistance to control was very high," said Daniel Tune with the U.S. Forest Service. 

According to Cal Fire, the wildfire is growing at a dangerous rate and has the potential to grow to 600 to 1,000 acres in the next couple of days.

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