Devastating losses on the oak fire
MARIPOSA COUNTY–The Oak Fire has been burning in Mariposa County for a week. Firefighters report that 106 residences were destroyed. While many evacuations have been lifted and people are returning home, others have no home to return to. More are returning to their properties to find everything burned around their homes. A desert where they once had their own “slices of paradise” as one local described it.
LOCAL OAK FIRE SERVICE CENTER: August 1 through August 3, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Mariposa High School Gymnasium, 5074 Old Highway N, Mariposa, CA 95338. This is a multi-agency support center to provide assistance to ALL residents affected by Fire Oak.
OAK FIRE INFORMATION LINE – 844-668-3473
Fire crews, along with cooperating agencies, are working around the clock to repopulate areas within the fire perimeter. There was minimal fire growth overnight and containment increased from 6% to 45%. The total area burned is now 19,208.
Teams continue to work around communities patrolling for hotspots and providing structure defense. Firefighters construct and improve the direct line of fire in extremely steep, uneven and difficult to access terrain. Persistent drought, extremely dry fuels and tree mortality remain factors contributing to the spread of fires. Damage inspection will continue until all areas of the fire have been assessed.
At the community meeting held last night in the Mariposa County High School auditorium, Mariposa County Sheriff Jeremy Briese assured residents that everything is being done to get them home as soon as possible. He wanted residents to know that their safety is the top priority for his team and the fire department. He also wanted the community to know that all homeowners who have lost their homes will be notified in person and addresses will be NOT be posted until everything has been assessed and notifications are complete.
What many will experience, unfortunately, is what I would call utter devastation. –Mariposa County Sheriff/Coroner Jeremy Briese
• Triangle Road from Hwy 140 to Darrah Rd including all secondary roads
• Jerseydale Rd including all secondary roads
• Silva Road from Van Ness Drive to Triangle Road
• Darrah Road from Deer Springs to Triangle Rd
• Carstens Road including all secondary roads
Evacuation orders are updated throughout the day as more areas open to residents. The most recent orders are available on the Evacuation map.
What we can expect
Fire managers expect minimal fire growth over the next 72 hours. Fire activity will be moderate and will continue to slowly crawl and smolder through the underbrush in most areas as crews continue to tend to hotspots and build direct fire lines. Helicopter crews will be on hand to coordinate with ground crews to keep the fire cool in areas that are currently uncontrolled.