MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – As day turns to night in Mariposa County, the Oak Fire which began burning sometime after 2:00 pm Friday continues to grow.
The wildfire that began at just 200 acres quickly exploded to 4,350 acres in just a matter of hours.
The Oak Fire began burning in the area of Carstens Road and Highway 140, near Midpines.
Residents in those areas were told that they would have to evacuate quickly as the intense flames grew closer to homes.
Taylor Poisall with the Red Cross said the fast-moving fire forced the organization to move its evacuation center.
“We had to relocate due to how fast this fire was moving,” explained Poisall. “We were previously at New Life Christian Fellowship Church, it’s where we’ve had our shelter for the last three wildfires in July. With the way the fire was moving, it was just out of an abundance of caution to move and relocate to this current shelter at Mariposa Elementary School.”
She said they’ve had nearly 30 residents so far at the evacuation center
“Anyone who was affected and needs help can come to receive services,” Poisall.
Evacuees are required to have a negative COVID-19 test before entering the shelter.
“We’re currently COVID testing outside our shelter before folks check-in for the safety of everyone, so they’ll take a quick 15-minute test and they’re allowed to come in,” Poisall explained.
Poisall said they are constantly checking with fire officials on updates on the Oak Fire and will try to keep their evacuees updated as well.