OAKHURST – The Junction Fire, which started along Highway 49 in Oakhurst at 1:50 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 18, has now burned some 1,200 acres and crews made good progress on the lines overnight.
Nearly 500 personnel are battling the blaze that swept through Oakhurst yesterday afternoon, after it was reported as a small vegetation fire near Capitol Pipe.
There are 51 Engines, 14 Hand Crews, 8 bulldozers and numerous helicopters and air tankers assigned to the incident.
About 500 structures are threatened, and 8 have been damaged or destroyed. Two injuries have been reported.
Extreme fire conditions related to the current drought situation have hampered containment. Winds and spot fire conditions of ¼ to ½ mile ahead of the main fire have also created many challenges.
Firefighters are hopeful that lower temperatures, a rise in humidity and less wind will provide them with the ability to establish containment lines, utilizing hand crews and dozers.
Firefighters from throughout the Central Valley and the state are being deployed to defend homes in the area.
The Red Cross is assisting with all evacuation shelters.
Evacuations are in effect for the following areas :
Road 620 between Highway 41 and Lone Oak Lane
Jean Road East, Jean Road West, Scott Road and Taylor Mountain
All residence and business between Highway 41 North from Road 426 to Road 620
Sky Ranch Road, and the community of Cedar Valley
Yosemite Lakes Community Church, 43840 Patrick, Coarsegold CA
Coarsegold Community Center, 35540 Highway 41, Coarsegold CA
Highway 41 from Road 426 to Road 620
Road 222 from Highway 41 to Road 274
All Schools along Road 427(School Road) Oakhurst.
Madera County Sheriff, Mariposa County Sheriff, Madera County Fire, United States Forest Service, CAL OES, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CHP, Red Cross, PG&E, Cal Trans, and Madera County Office of Emergency Services.
With summer weather and extreme drought conditions, Cal Fire is asking everyone to continue to use caution, “One Less Spark – One Less Wildfire”. For more information on how to prepare for wildfires, go to www.readyforwildfire.org.