A California fire that started in Yosemite National Park Thursday afternoon exploded, quintupled in size and reached the famous Mariposa Grove park, home to some of the largest and oldest sequoia trees in the world, SFGATE reported.
Yosemite Fire and Aviation posted on Facebook Friday, July 8, “The fire was mapped last night at 46 acres and remained active overnight with an estimated acreage of 250 acres.” (RELATED: Deadly Wildfires Rage Through Texas, Forcing Hundreds To Flee Their Homes)
Mandatory evacuation of the Wawona community and Wawona Campground due to the 466 acre #Washburnfire. Wawona road (Hwy41) is closed from South Entrance to the Wawona Golf Course.
Information map: https://t.co/o8JvdKdTBI
Photo/ Lindsay Stevenson pic.twitter.com/1kOI1q5jmq
— Yosemite Fire and Aviation Management (@YosemiteFire) July 9, 2022
Officials then sent evacuation orders Friday to Wawona and Wawona Campground, which is just a short drive away from Mariposa Grove, SFGATE reported.
“Please leave the area immediately,” officials said. “Utilize Wawona Road (Hwy 41) northbound toward Yosemite Valley. Southbound traffic is closed at the Wawona Golf Course.”
Flames had reached Mariposa Grove overnight, SFGATE reported. As of 5 p.m. Friday, the Washburn Fire burned 466 acres, according to officials, SFGATE continued.
Shelter is available at the Mariposa New Life Church, located at 5089 Cole Road, ABC 30 reported.
“You come out here to the nature to get away from the busy-ness and there’s airplanes flying, there’s helicopters flying by,” Dennis and Shellie Farrington, who were visiting from Arizona, told ABC 30.
The cause of the fire is unknown and is being investigated.