Mandatory evacuations ordered in Yosemite's Wawona due to South Fork Fire

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The South Fork Fire burning through the Yosemite National Park is moving in closer to the town of Wawona and is now forcing residents and visitors to evacuate. (KFSN)

The South Fork Fire burning through the Yosemite National Park is moving in closer to the town of Wawona and is now forcing residents and visitors to evacuate.

"It was quite scary," visitor Kevin McLeod said. "When we got back, there was a lot more smoke than there was last night."

McLeod traveled all the way from the UK with his wife and three kids. They didn't get to spend more than one day at their cabin in Yosemite's town of Wawona before they were forced to leave. And now they're spending their vacation at an evacuation center.

"We got back to the road this afternoon and the road was closed," he said. "And the police said you gotta go in and empty your cabin and get out."

The Red Cross set up their evacuation site at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp earlier that afternoon and will be providing residents and visitors with meals, showers and a safe place to sleep until evacuation orders are lifted.

McLeod doesn't know if they'll get to go back to their vacation spot, but they're making the most of these unexpected circumstances.

"It makes for a good story when we go home," he said.

The Yosemite National Park Service says fire activity increased on Friday because of downdraft winds from thunderstorms. The South Fork Fire has been burning since last Sunday.

The Red Cross will be set up throughout the night providing evacuees with what they need, and a community meeting is scheduled at 6 p.m.

Related Topics:
wildfireyosemite national park
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