Governor Brown Declares State of Emergency in Mariposa County

Governor Brown has issued an emergency proclamation in Mariposa County due to the Ferguson Fire.

The continues to grow near Yosemite National Park. It has burned more than 43,000 acres and is 27% contained. 

Fire officials say more than 5,000 structures are threatened and dozens of communities are being forced to evacuate.

Heavy smoke near Yosemite National Park has caused park officials to close Yosemite Valley and Wawona. The closure went into effect Wednesday at noon and will be closed until at least Sunday.

Air support, and more than 3,600 firefighters have worked around the clock to try to get a handle of the blaze.

Ferguson Fire information officer Jim Mackensen stated, "We've got a lot of crews back here at the bottom of this hill putting in bulldozer line, hand line. There's a lot of engines stuck back at each of these structures prepping the structures."

Five-thousand plus structures are threatened including the area near Triangle Road and Lushmeadows east of Mariposa.

Coarsegold resident Cass Crowley, "We've been having ash fall, when we came out to the car yesterday, there was like almost a layer of ash I noticed all along the rim of the windows."

Cass and her husband Dennis live in Coarsegold, and though they are far from evacuating, their hearts go out to those who are away from their homes.

She said, "Terribly, terribly, I just feel so bad for the people. The communities up here though, really come together, bring donations together to help all the emergency crews."

Mackensen said the triple-digit heat coupled with poor overnight humidity created conditions for active fire behavior.

"This thing is just in such very tough terrain, with all of this fuel, all the dead trees from the bark beetle kill, is making it just a really tough fight for the firefighters," ended Mackensen.

Earlier today, Governor Brown also issued emergency proclamations for Riverside and Shasta counties due to fires.

The declarations authorize the state to rally resources to local government.

In Riverside County the Cranston Fire continues to burn near Idyllwild. At least 5 homes have been destroyed.

The fire has burned more than 7,500. While some residents are able to go home, evacuation orders remain in effect for thousands. A man was arrested Wednesday night for arson in connection to the Cranston Fire. 

A massive wildfire is also burning in northern California. The Carr fire has scorched over 28,000 acres and is 10% contained. New mandatory evacuation orders are in place in Shasta County. 


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