Posted: Tuesday, August 19th 2014 at 4:23pm
Higher humidity, calmer winds slow growth of Yosemite wildfire
By The Associated Press
OAKHURST, Calif. (AP) -- Officials say a California wildfire that has forced about 1,000 people from their homes in the foothills near Yosemite National Park is holding steady amid higher humidity and calmer winds.
The blaze around the Madera County community of Oakhurst remained at a little under 2 square miles on Tuesday. It has destroyed eight structures and was threatening about 500 homes around Oakhurst, which is about 16 miles from a Yosemite entrance.
The wildfire began Monday and was fueled by gusty winds and dry brush.
It comes on the heels of another blaze around Yosemite this summer and last year's Rim Fire, which raged for two months across 400 square miles of land. The Rim Fire threatened thousands of structures, destroyed 11 homes and cost more than $125 million to fight.
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.
Firefighters from throughout California were being dispatched Tuesday to protect homes threatened by an out-of-control wildfire burning in the foothills near Yosemite National Park, the second fire around the park in recent weeks.
The nearly 2-square-mile, wind-whipped blaze in Madera County had destroyed eight structures and was threatening 500 homes around Oakhurst, a community about 16 miles from a Yosemite entrance, fire and sheriff's officials said. Mandatory evacuation orders were in place for about 1,000 people, and another 4,000 were told to prepare to leave their homes, Madera County sheriff's spokeswoman Erica Stuart said.
"This is a wind-dominated fire," Stuart said. "We have no control of that."
The fire comes as California is in the midst of its third straight year of drought, creating tinder-dry conditions that have significantly increased the fire danger around the state.
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