Yosemite National Park and homes in danger as Ferguson Fire changes direction

AHWAHNEE, Calif. (KFSN) -- A change of direction in the Ferguson Fire is putting Yosemite National Park and thousands of homes in danger. Residents living around the park are feeling uneasy as the fire continues to grow.

As of Thursday night, it has burned more than 44,223 acres and containment stands at 27 percent.

California Governor Jerry Brown issued an emergency proclamation Thursday afternoon for Mariposa County due to the Ferguson Fire.

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That proclamation will allow additional resources to pour in, including financial reimbursement to Mariposa County for firefighting efforts. Homeowners and businesses can also get financial assistance because of the State of Emergency.

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Authorities reported yet another firefighter was injured while battling the flames on Wednesday. So far, seven firefighters have been injured, and a Cal Fire bulldozer operator died when his tractor rolled over.

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The Ferguson Fire's latest target is a cluster of homes about 11 miles east of Mariposa. It's now threatening about 5,200 structures.

The majority of firefighters and planes are hovering by Lush Meadows, which is now under evacuation from the north side of Triangle Road from Vista Lago to East Westfall and all side roads to the north.

RELATED: Parts of Yosemite National Park closed due to Ferguson Fire

The high heat is presenting a challenge for firefighters, with crews having to take special precautions to stay healthy and safe while on the fire line.

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Jim Mackensen, with the U.S. Forest Service, said, "Obviously, like with anybody, when its hot like this you'll have to move a lot slower. You can't go at the same tempo as if you would if it was a cooler day. So it requires the folks to take more breaks, they have to carry more stuff-- it's not unusual for a crew member to work with a hand tool and go through two to three gallons of water a day."

RELATED: Extreme heat, strong inversion layer challenges Ferguson Fire crews

Cal Fire and other agencies are hosting a community meeting Friday for anyone with questions about the fire. It will be held at the Tenaya Elementary School at 6:00 pm.


Road Closures:
  • Highway 41/Wawona Road is closed from the Yosemite Valley, through Wawona, to the park's south gate.
  • Highway 140 is closed from 1.9 miles east of Midpines to the Cedar Lodge area.
  • Big Oak Flat Road is closed from the Highway 120 junction at Crane Flat to the Yosemite Valley.

Mandatory Evacuations:
These areas are currently under a mandatory evacuation:
  • El Portal Trailer Court
  • Incline Rd from Clearing House to the last BLM campground
  • Cedar Lodge/Indian Flat Campground
  • Savage's Trading Post
  • Rancheria Flat - Government Housing
  • Old El Portal (including Yosemite View Lodge)
  • Foresta
  • Yosemite West
  • Old Yosemite Road
  • Ponderosa Basin
  • Anderson Valley
  • Lush Meadows
  • Triangle Road from Darrah Road in the Lushmeadows area to Hwy 49 South and all side roads
  • East Westfall Road to Chowchilla Mountain Road and all side roads
  • Tip Top Road from Triangle Road to Gunther Road including Gunther Road

Evacuation Advisories:
This is NOT an Evacuation Order. This is an advisement only of a potential Evacuation Order should conditions change.
  • Highway 49 South from Stumpfield Mountain Rd to the Mariposa Madera County Line (including Kimble Rd, Stumpfield Mountain Rd, Watt Rd)
  • Ponderosa Basin
  • Triangle Rd from Jerseydale Rd to Hwy 49 South (including all side roads)
  • Darrah Rd from Triangle to Sherrod Rd
  • East side of Hwy 49S from Darrah Rd to Harris Rd (including Boyer Rd, Woodland Area, Wass Rd, Tip Top Rd)

Next Community Meeting:
Thursday, July 26 at 6 pm
Tenaya Elementary School
5007 Fairgrounds Road
Mariposa CA 95338

Evacuation Centers:
  • New Life Christian Church (at capacity) - 5089 Cole Rd, Mariposa
  • Mariposa Elementary School - 5044 Jones St, Mariposa CA 95338

Animal Shelters:
Small Animals:
5599 California 49
Mariposa CA 95338

Large Animals:
Mariposa County Fairgrounds
5007 Fairgrounds Road
Mariposa CA 95338
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