Railroad Fire prompts evacuation of Tenaya Lodge and damages historic trains

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Railroad Fire damages historic trains (KFSN)

All day the work of firefighters could be heard as they battled day two of a raging blaze in Madera and Mariposa Counties. You could see them in the Sierra National Forest, dousing hot flames with water-- a blaze that ran up countless trees and nearly hopped Highway 41.

While both Sugar Pine and Fish Camp are under mandatory evacuation orders, there were some like Bob Keller who stayed behind.

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All day the work of firefighters could be heard as they battled day two of a raging blaze in Madera and Mariposa Counties.


Keller has been without power for more than a day, but he said for now he holds the comfort in knowing his 60-year-old Fish Camp home is ok.

"We've had nothing but help, the Forest Service, Cal Fire-- and they were a great help to keep things under control."

However, there are dozens of others who do not have that peace of mind.



On our Twitter page, a few people reached out asking if their properties were safe. So we drove by Anthony Avila's vacation rental to give him the good news he could not see for himself.

"I'm definitely thankful-- really happy actually. It's scary knowing everything can go in a second. Without hearing from you guys and ABC30 it's kind of hard to know what going on."

As crews used a nearby pond for resources to tackle the growing fire the owners of the historic landmark Sugar Pine Railroad are left on edge. At least one train and rail car were burned in the fire and there is no telling if it will happen to the others.

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The fast moving flames also prompted evacuations at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.


The fast moving flames also prompted evacuations at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp. Just last week the hotel was providing shelter to evacuees of the South Fork Fire near Wawona.

More than half of the guests staying at the hotel were visiting Yosemite National Park at the time of the evacuation. On Wednesday the CHP escorted visitors to the hotel to gather their belongings and leave. Around 20 employees are staying the night to protect the property and aid in the firefight.

Railroad Fire Incident Report

Size: 1,901

Structures threatened: 100
Structures destroyed: 7

There will be a community meeting Thursday, August 31 at the Community Center in Oakhurst at 7 pm.

The fire was active yesterday and grew primarily toward the north and east. Firefighters continue to build direct and indirect line to protect the community of Fish Camp, Sugar Pine, and the Yosemite Mountain Ranch. Dry conditions and tree mortality are contributing to fast growth of the fire. A mandatory evacuation has been issued by the Sherriff's Office to the communities of Fish Camp and Sugar Pine. A Red Cross shelter has been set up at the Community Center in Oakhurst.

Highway 41 has a hard closure north of Cedar Valley Drive to the South Entrance to Yosemite National Park, and Highway 41 south from Wawona to the South Entrance of Yosemite. Yosemite visitors should use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. The Summerdale and Big Sandy Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are also closed.

Concern is for firefighter safety due to the heat and snags in steep terrain. Temperatures remain above normal with lower relative humidity levels dominating the area. Extreme heat is expected to stay in the area throughout the week.

Resources assigned to the fire include 7 crews, 4 helicopters, 21 engines, 6 dozers, 7 water tenders.

Related Topics:
cal fireevacuationwildfireMariposa CountyMadera County
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