Yosemite Railroad Fire doubles in size overnight due to wind shifts

EMBED </>More Videos

In the last three days, the flames have scorched more than 2,100 acres forcing hundreds from their homes. (KFSN)

In the last three days, the flames have scorched more than 2,100 acres forcing hundreds from their homes.

Ashen earth and smoldering tree stumps frame Highway 41. The lush green canopy that beckoned visitors into Yosemite is now gone, and in some parts, history also burned.

"We did the best we could, unfortunately, it spotted across the road, and they did a lot of good in there-- saved some homes, unfortunately, they lost some," said Daniel Tune with Sierra National Forest.

For three days firefighters exhausted themselves trying to protect Sugar Pine Railroad and nearby homes. It was not just the winds and steep terrain that caused problems. This time they also had to overcome low staffing.

"A lot of our firefighters are fighting fires in other states. They're helping out at the hurricane; we have fires within the state, and so it's all about prioritization," said Tune.

Firefighters explained those challenges to the hundreds of families that packed into Oakhurst Community Center Thursday night. So far, six homes have been destroyed and many just wanted to hear if theirs were alright.

Pamela Ferris, who lives in Fish Camp, said, "Finally I just said is my house still standing, and they said yes, so that's what I wanted to know."

There is still no containment on the Railroad Fire, but firefighters said flames have stopped progressing to the northern and western sides where communities like Fish Camp and Sugar Pine lie.

"I've been anxious, I've been trying to be very calm, but I've been anxious," said Ferris.

So have firefighters are hoping more resources will be available in the coming days to help them preserve these relics of nature and history.

It's still too early to tell when Highway 41 will be reopened.

After all the hot spots are put out crews have to check to make sure none of the trees lining the roads were severely weakened.

Related Topics:
yosemitefireYosemite National ParkCalifornia
(Copyright ©2017 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments