Nearly 3,000 firefighters are battling the Oak Fire wildfire which broke out near the small town of Midpines on Friday and has covered 7,000 acres.
The firefighters, who have been fighting from the An “explosive” wildfire last week that caused the evacuation of thousands of people in central California, announced on Tuesday that it had managed to partially contain the blaze.
Monday morning, the fire dubbed Oak Fire was only 10% contained. 24 hours later, this proportion reached 26%.
This rapid progress was made possible by the massive mobilization of nearly 3,000 firefighters and 24 water bomber helicopters, as well as only by a slight improvement in the humidity level which should increase further in the coming days.
The wildfire broke out near the small town of Midpines on Friday and has covered more than 7,000 hectares, spreading at full speed due in part to an extremely dry atmosphere and vegetation.
Jonathan Pierce, a spokesman for the fire department, pointed to the role of high “mortality” of trees in Mariposa County, so many standing dead trees, lots of dead trees that are on the ground and are fueling the flames.
“High mortality” of trees in Mariposa County, California helps slow Oak Fire wildfire , according to fire department spokesman Jonathan Pierce.
The Oak Fire destroyed about 40 buildings and threatened several thousand homes in small rural communities of Mariposa County, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.
In just a few days, it became the biggest California wildfire of the season.
Firefighters' efforts could be aided in the coming days by the #x27;arrival of the fire in an area already devastated in 2018 by another forest fire.
If it hits that area, it will slow down a bit because there will be less fuel there, Pierce explained. All the vegetation that will have grown back will be much less dense than if nothing had burned.
Within days, the Oak Fire wildfire became the biggest Californian wildfire of the season.
Yosemite National Park, close to the Oak Fire, had suffered mi -July a fire whose flames had once threatened giant sequoias. These trees, for some millennia, have been generally preserved thanks in particular to controlled fires carried out for decades in these groves to reduce the fuel on the ground.
The x27;The American West has experienced wildfires of exceptional magnitude and intensity in recent years, with a very marked lengthening of the fire season, a phenomenon that scientists attribute mainly to climate change.< /p>