As the Thompson fire recedes, another California wildfire prompts evacuations

Another fast-moving wildfire has broken out in California, this time near the gateway city to Yosemite National Park, prompting mandatory evacuations and temporary road closures.

The French Fire started Thursday evening on French Camp Road in Mariposa County after a heat wave brought days of sweltering temperatures. As of 1:14 p.m. local time Friday, the fire had spread to 843 acres and was 15 percent contained. Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced unit.

Some of the 1,100 residents who were forced to evacuate were allowed to return home on Friday afternoon. On Friday, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the second funding California has received this week to help fight wildfires.

The French fire is the latest fire to ignite in California amid a particularly dangerous fire season. Just this week, 23 fire Crackdown across the state prompted some cities to cancel Fourth of July fireworks. Most active fires are at least 50 percent contained, with no fatalities.

Firefighters contained the French fire overnight after winds subsided. Huldozers and fire crews are now focusing on the east side of the fire after building a line on the east side of Mariposa. A church has been designated as a temporary evacuation site. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire closed a 1.6-mile stretch of State Route 140, one of the main roads into and out of Yosemite, but reopened Friday afternoon as firefighters made progress.

Cal fire crews have made progress in recent days in containing the Thompson Fire in northern California’s Butte County, working amid high temperatures expected to reach 114 degrees on Friday. That fire has grown to 3,789 acres and is 46 percent contained as of Friday morning. Oroville, a city of about 20,000 people, did not escape damage: 25 buildings were destroyed by fire. Also, two firemen were injured.

See also  Ukraine says it has disabled a third of Russia's Black Sea fleet after sinking another warship

Cal Fire has added 200 crews to the Thompson fire, bringing the total to 2,219 crews working on mop-up operations — putting out or removing combustible materials to reduce the chance of fire escapes, according to the U.S. Forest Service. Thompson Fire Public Information Officer Alejandro Soligo said the goal is to “finish” the operation by July 15.

“It’s very good. We are continuing our mop-up operations and our personnel are diligently working with our operators to maintain control,” he said.

Firefighters use work-rest cycles to ensure well-being and avoid heat injuries, he said.

The forest fire started on Tuesday morning. That same afternoon, although Thompson was unrelated to the fire, authorities detained a 61-year-old Oroville resident who retreated using a propane torch. He was later arrested on charges of illegal forest fire. The cause of the Thompson fire is still under investigation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *