OAKHURST – Firefighters continued to make good progress on the Junction Fire today, improving containment lines and doing aggressive mop-up on interior hot spots.
The number of damaged and destroyed structures has been updated and increased, as a damage inspection team surveyed the burn area to assess the property loss.
The new numbers show 47 structures destroyed and 6 damaged. The majority of the increase is from minor structures such as outbuildings, motor homes, and storage containers.
Crews have now gained 65% containment of the fire, which held at 612 acres today. They are doing suppression repair along with patrolling and managing flare-ups and hot spots. Fallers are taking down hazard trees and firefighters continue to monitor any hot spots near structures in the burn area.
Though active fire behavior has diminished, the number of personnel assigned to the incident has been increased to 1,386 There are 114 engines, 40 fire crews, 12 bulldozers, 5 water tenders and 2 helicopters.
All road closures and evacuations were lifted today, and residents on the east side of the fire were allowed to return to their homes and businesses.
The Red Cross evacuation center in Yosemite Lakes Park was closed today at 3 p.m.
All area schools will be back in session tomorrow at regular times.
Two injuries to firefighters have been reported, and the cause of the Junction Fire, which started on Monday, Aug. 18 at 1:50 p.m., remains under investigation.
Everyone is cautioned to be aware of fire equipment and crews in the area, drive safely and give them clear access to get their jobs done.
We will update with more details of the day’s successes and tomorrow’s plans after the 7 a.m. briefing on Thursday.
Cooperating agencies include Madera County Sheriff, Madera County Fire Department, CAL Office of Emergency Services, Sierra National Forest, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, CHP, Red Cross, the California Conservation Corps, PG&E, and Madera County OES.
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.
To receive phone calls, emails and/or texts from the Madera County Sheriff’s Office when emergencies affect your area, register at MCAlert.org.
For Mariposa County residents, visit the Sheriff’s website at http://www.mariposacounty.org/index.aspx?NID=82 to receive alerts in your area.