Thousands of Americans ordered to flee homes due to ‘explosive’ Yosemite wildfire | US News

Thousands of people were ordered to leave their homes and businesses near a fast-spreading wildfire near Yosemite National Park on Saturday.

According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, the wildfire that began Friday afternoon has spread over an area of ​​more than 26 square kilometers (10 square miles).

Evacuation orders have now been issued for more than 6,000 people living in a sparsely populated rural area.

U.S. Forest firefighters stand along the Triangle as they watch a wildfire known as the Oak Fire burn east of the Midpines in Mariposa County, California, Friday, July 22, 2022. Fast-moving near Yosemite National Park that broke out Friday afternoon and prompted firefighters to evacuate has made progress from an earlier blaze that burned to the edge of a giant grove of Sequoias.  (Eric Paul Zamora / Ong Fresno via AP)
Photo: AP

“Explosive behavior is challenging for firefighters,” the department said, describing the fire as “extremely serious with frequent running, spot fires and group fires.”

The fire destroyed 10 residential and commercial structures on Saturday morning and threatened another 2,000 people.

It has closed many roads, including Highway 140, one of the main routes into Yosemite.

Flames engulf a chair inside a burning home as the Oak Fire burns in Mariposa County, California, on Saturday, July 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Photo: AP

More than 400 firefighters are battling the blaze in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, armed with water-dropping helicopters and other firefighting planes, as well as bulldozers.

The blaze was sparked by hot weather, low humidity and extremely dry vegetation caused by the worst drought in decades, although its initial cause is unknown.

Flames from the Oak Fire consume a home on Triangle Road in Mariposa County, California, Saturday, July 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Noah Berger)
Photo: AP

Daniel Patterson, a spokesman for the Sierra National Forest, said that climate change has made the region much warmer and drier over the past 30 years, leading to California experiencing increasingly large wildfires and Deadly.

Last year, almost August 43,000 Californians under evacuation orders as dozens of massive wildfires raged across the state.

“The fire is moving quickly. This fire threw embers up to two miles forward yesterday. These are exceptional burning conditions,” Mr. Patterson warned.

A firefighter extinguishes a blaze as the Oak Flame crosses Darrah Road.  in Mariposa County, California, on Friday, July 22, 2022. Crews were able to prevent it from reaching a semi-detached house.  (AP Photo / Noah Berger)
Photo: AP

Residents have been sharing on social media photos of a giant pyrocumulus cloud stretching up into the atmosphere.

Andy Bollenbacher, a meteorologist with the US National Weather Service, said that the cloud top stretched as much as 30,000 feet in the sky on Friday night.

The risk is that under extreme conditions, wildfires could start creating their own weather systems as the smoke forms a pyramidal cloud, similar to a normal cumulus or thunderstorm cloud that produces hail, thunder, and hail. lighting.

Under current conditions, such weather – and servicemen’s lightning bolts and stronger winds – could spark even more fires in a destructive chain reaction.

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