Strike team from Alameda County on front lines of fire near Yosemite

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A wildfire destroyed two homes in Madera County and burned over 600 acres, but fire crews are gaining ground on it.

Strike teams from Alameda County left Tuesday morning to help fight the fire in burning in the town of Oakhurst near Yosemite National Park. It is 30 percent contained and the evacuation orders for some areas were lifted in the afternoon.

The fire has consumed more than 600 acres and burned at least eight structures. The active fire has moved well to the east of downtown Oakhurst, but the damage has clearly been done.

Diana Buchholz's home experienced a near miss.

"We barely got out and I thought for sure the whole place was going up because we could see the whole property was glowing orange, that's how close the fire was. The heat was unbearable and there were three fire engines when we left," said Buchholz.

One day after 13,000 evacuation orders went out, the situation has improved.

"The biggest disadvantage we have right now is the wind is picking up, the day is heating up and it's going to make it rougher for the firefighters and hopefully we won't have those same conditions we had yesterday," said Chris Christopherson of CalFire.

"It was very close up above the restaurant here," said owner Alice Enriquez.

In downtown Oakhurst, a week that should be the last blast of the summer season is now as quiet as can be thanks to the fire.

"Hopefully tomorrow the hotels will reopen. So we're hoping for tomorrow maybe getting back to business as usual," added Enriquez.

Area schools were closed as well.

"It's not horrible, but it would be if the schools burned down," said student Christopher Elkins.

600 firefighters on the front lines are working to prevent that from happening.

Another fire burning near Lake Isabella in Kern County has burned 3,200 acres since Monday and is threatening 200 structures. Dozens of families have been forced to evacuate.
Related Topics:
wildfirefirefightersyosemitecaliforniamadera countycal firedestroyed homesevacuationYosemite National Park
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