Oak Fire continues to spread near Yosemite Park, California

Published on : 25/07/2022 – 07:14

The fire that has ravaged northern California since Friday continues to burn around the famous park of Yosemite while the United States is experiencing a particularly intense heat wave. A state of emergency has been declared and evacuations are continuing.

With our correspondent in the United States, Loubna Anaki

The smoke cloud is visible from the International Space Station and extends for several kilometers around. On the ground, the fire has already ravaged nearly 6,000 acres in Mariposa County and it continues to advance at high speed, fanned by winds andthe extreme heat that hits the United States since this weekend. According to a map from the National Weather Service (NWS), a very large part of the country, including California, all of the south, and then much of the east coast, experienced temperatures of 37°C to 43°C.

Dubbed the ‘Oak Fire’, the fire threatens thousands of properties as evacuation operations continue. Six thousand people had to leave their homes. Hundreds spend the night in a primary school transformed into an emergency centre.

Some 2,000 firefighters are mobilized to try to put out the fire. REUTERS – DAVID SWANSON

Out of control

For the moment, the fire remains totally out of control. According to the authorities, it will take a few days or even a week to contain it, provided the weather is more favourable. Some 2,000 firefighters supported by 17 helicopters are trying to overcome it.

The American West has already experienced forest fires of exceptional magnitude and intensity in recent years, with a very marked lengthening of the fire season, a phenomenon that scientists attribute to climate change. Meanwhile, this fire is one of the most violent recorded this year in California. And the second to threaten, in less than two weeks, Yosemite National Park and its legendary giant sequoias.

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