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Governor declares emergency over wildfire near Yosemite

APTOPIX California Wildfires
Posted at 7:21 PM, Jul 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-24 19:21:36-04

WAWONA, Calif.  — Gov. Gavin Newsom has proclaimed a state of emergency for Mariposa County due to the effects of the fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite National Park.

Thousands of people were ordered to flee the Oak Fire that exploded into one of California's largest wildfires of the year.

Officials said the fire began Friday afternoon southwest of the park near Midpines in Mariposa County.

By Saturday, it had grown to nearly 19 square miles.

A Sierra National Forest spokesperson says evacuation orders were put in effect Saturday for over 6,000 people living in the sparsely populated, rural area.

Fire officials called the blaze "explosive" and fueled by hot weather and dry vegetation.