Wawona under mandatory evacuation as South Fork Fire threatens

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The South Fork fire burning in Yosemite National Park prompted dozens of evacuations for the community of Wawona. (KFSN)

A wildfire burning in the Yosemite National Park has forced Wawona residents from their homes and rental cabins.

A mandatory evacuation is in effect for dozens of people as firefighters struggle to get a handle on the unpredictable flames.

Tenaya Lodge is typically a tourist destination, but Monday morning it is serving as shelter for those evacuated from the fire.

The South Fork Fire that broke out last Sunday. The National Park Service says so far it has burned 3,473 and is 10 percent contained.

Authorities say Wawona residents weren't only evacuated because of the fire proximity, but the threat of more thunderstorms lingers, bringing the possibility of more spot fires.

Residents who have been evacuated say this didn't come as a surprise and have had about a week to prepare. But some still say these are unexpected circumstances.

Park rangers say they are focusing the majority of their hand crews for the South Fork Fire in Wawona to keep it safe from burning.

South Fork Fire Information

Size: 3,473 Acres
Containment: 10 percent
Location: .75 miles east of the Wawona

Planned Actions
Holding operation and line construction continue on the west flank of the fire. Spot fires in Division X now have access and suppression activity will be expedited. Strengthening of contingency lines around the community of Wawona continues. Natural barriers are being utilized as much as possible. Security for area closures and security in evacuated areas.
Crews are being inserted into the southeast portion of the fire in an effort to halt the eastern spread of the fire.
Thunderstorm activity is expected to cause erratic winds over the fire area through mid-week. Gusty erratic winds associated with thunderstorms could cause problematic fire activity in Division A and the firing operations should they materialize. Crews continue to spike in an effort to utilize as much daylight as possible. The west flank of the fire is approximately 1/4 mile east of Wawona. The fire continues to pose a threat to Wawona, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. A combination of firing operations, air support, direct line construction and use of natural barriers are the current tactics being implemented to meet protection objectives.

Weather Concerns
A weak area of low pressure will remain anchored off the Southern California coast through Wednesday and bring a threat of thunderstorms to mainly the Sierra each afternoon and evening. Generally light slope and terrain winds can be expected through the period. However, winds will be gusty and erratic in the vicinity of thunderstorms. Little diurnal change in temperatures and humidity is expected through the period.
Related Topics:
yosemite national parkwildfireYosemite National Park
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