MARIPOSA, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Oak Fire is still growing in Mariposa County Tuesday night, now up to 18,530 acres and the containment is still holding at 26%.
While the fire has grown bigger, it only burned a few hundred acres Tuesday, showing that the statewide response is working.
Acreage has been holding steady at around 18,000 acres as the Oak Fire continues to burn across Mariposa County.
Fire Public Information Officer Chris Garcia said with lower temps and now nearly 3,000 firefighters on the ground, crews have managed to make some progress in containing the massive blaze.
“We had the relative humidity come up, so there’s moisture in the air, which helps the fire not burn as intense,” explained Garcia.
Still, with the fire now burning for days, Garcia said there is a risk of falling trees.
“We’re starting to have snags which are burnt-out trees that are falling, that’s creating a real hazard for firefighters,” Garcia.
He also said the way the fire has moved into steep mountains and dense wilderness has been difficult.
Just miles from the flames, the evacuation site still has people waiting to go home. Lynn and her husband Bernard have been staying at the Red Cross evacuation center.
“We got here around 5:00 on Friday, and they were still in the throes of putting things together quickly and Bernard could see them struggling, putting the cots together of all things, they’re very difficult, so he took that over and started doing all the cots for everybody,” explained Lynn Reynolds-Brown.
Officials said the couple has been helping others, even though they’re in need themselves.
“If I was at a hotel room or something like that I can’t help out. I’d rather stay here and help out where I can,” said Bernard.
The Red Cross said around 40 people have been staying at their evacuation center each night, but over 100 people have been coming each day for meals and other services.