California wildfires spread rapidly, destroying 10 properties

US authorities said a rapidly spreading wildfire in California, near Yosemite National Park, has destroyed 10 buildings and threatens thousands of others.

The so-called “oak fire” began at 2:00 pm local time Friday at Medpen in Mariposa County, about 70 miles north of Fresno and about 10 miles from Yosemite, near the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.

According to a report by CalFire, the state fire department, the fire raged overnight, engulfing 6,555 acres.

Kalfair said the “explosive nature” of the fire challenged 400 firefighters and four deployed helicopters. It was the fastest growing fire of the season, ahead of the Washburn fire, which continued to burn in Yosemite National Park, according to Calfair spokeswoman Natasha Vouts.

On social media, residents posted photos of the ominous plume of smoke that quickly crossed the orange-red sky after the fire broke out.

Evacuation orders were issued for an area extending several miles from the fire, and officials blocked several roads. It is not known if any of the residents were hurt. An American Red Cross station was opened at Mariposa Elementary School. In addition to the destroyed buildings, five more were damaged.

Voices said fire officials expect the fire to be contained by next week.

And while wildfires happen in the West every year, the link between climate change and major fires is inextricable. Wildfires are increasing in size and intensity in the western United States, and wildfire seasons are getting longer. Recent studies have shown that the heat and drought associated with global warming are among the main reasons for the increase in the number of larger and more intense fires.

Source: "nytimes"

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