One day after a wildfire blazed into being just outside Yosemite National Park in central California, crews are making headway in their effort to contain it. As of Saturday at 2 p.m. PDT (5 p.m. EDT), the Bridge Fire is already 25 percent contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. However, the evacuation orders for the 700 affected structures in Ponderosa Basin area will remain in effect until further notice, the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office Nixle service indicated.
The Bridge Fire began in Mariposa County about 14 miles outside the national park Friday around 2:20 p.m. PDT (5:20 p.m. EDT), Cal Fire reported. About 300 acres were scorched its first day. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
California’s current drought conditions, high temperatures and low humidity all have combined to make containing the blaze especially challenging for fire crews, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Saturday. “It’s a slow, deep, difficult terrain,”Cal Fire representative Karen Kanawyer said. “Extremely fast fire spreads are something we haven’t seen for many years. These fires start faster and burn hotter.”
The Junction Fire, the wildfire that struck near Yosemite last month and forced thousands to evacuate differs from Bridge Fire in that this blaze is “more rural,” Cal Fire representative Dennis Mathisen told Reuters. “The structures threatened are in a residential area,” he said.
On Aug. 18, an estimated 13,000 people were evacuated near Yosemite National Park. Officially 100 percent contained Aug. 25, the Junction Fire scorched 612 acres, destroyed 47 structures and injured three people, Cal Fire reported. Its cause is still under investigation.