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Railroad sign burning - photo Dan Tune USFS

Railroad Fire Grows To Over 300 Acres, More Evacuations

FISH CAMP — The Railroad fire continues to grow as fire managers have difficulty getting large air tankers over the incident.

As of 2:45 p.m., the fire was estimated at 300 acres, with spot fires out ahead of the blaze, and a potential for up to 5,000 acres. It is moving toward the park boundary.

Three structures have been lost.

As of 3:10 p.m., five dozers were en route to the fire. All helicopters requested are overhead, and more resources are on order, including more strike teams and ground crews.

The road closure on Highway 41 has been moved south from Road 630 to Cedar Valley. On the north it is closed at Summit Road in Fish Camp.

A mandatory evacuation is in place for the Narrow Gauge Inn, the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, the community of Sugar Pine including the christian camp, and all homes in the immediate vicinity.

At 2:53 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office initiated evacuations of the Fish Camp and Tenaya Lodge areas. All traffic is being sent into Yosemite from Fish Camp, and the outbound traffic at the south entrance is being stopped.

As of 4:20 p.m. Highway 41 is closed south of Wawona.

Officials report zero visibility on the roadway in the Fish Camp area, so everyone is being warned to use extreme caution and headlights.

A Red Cross evacuation center has been established at the Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425B.

An additional evacuation shelter will be open at 5:45 p.m. at Yosemite Valley Visitor Center, 9035 Village Drive, Yosemite Valley.

The Central California Animal Disaster Team is on standby to assist the Madera County Sheriff’s Office/ Animal Control with animal evacuation and emergency animal sheltering if needed.

YMSPRR – photo Dan Tune USFS

Sheriff deputies and Citizens on Patrol are deployed across the area making notifications and setting up along side roads such as Miami Mountain and Worman, to keep people from entering the fire zone.

The fire was reported at 12:20 p.m., and the initial report said a crew cutting trees in the area had dropped a limb on a power line. That has not been confirmed as the cause of the fire.

More resources are being ordered, including more engines, crews, strike teams, water tenders, helicopters and air tankers.

At 1:35 p.m., sheriff’s personnel reported spot fires on the east side of the highway.

We will update as more information comes in.

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Sierra News Online

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