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Thousands ordered to flee California wildfire near Yosemite

Posted at 9:44 AM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-24 15:46:51-04

WAWONA, Calif. (AP) -- Thousands of people were ordered to evacuate a fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite National Park that exploded in size into one of California's largest wildfires of the year.

California fire officials said the Oak Fire began Friday afternoon southwest of the park near Midpines in Mariposa County. By Saturday morning officials said the blaze had spread across 10.2 square miles. By Sunday morning, it had burned more than 14,000 acres and forced thousands to evacuate from rural communities.

The fire remains at 0% contained Sunday morning.

A Sierra National Forest spokesperson says evacuation orders were put in effect Saturday for over 6,000 people living in the sparsely populated, rural area.

Fire officials called the blaze "explosive" and fueled by hot weather and bone dry vegetation.