Oak Fire: Photos of the ‘Unprecedented’ Yosemite Wildfire

Near Yosemite National Park, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains foothills, a fast-moving wildfire has destroyed nearly 19,000 acres. In just three days it had blazed more than 18,000 acres. It started on July 22, 2012.

Cal Fire officials warned that the unpredictable behavior of the blaze is “really unprecedented.” With temperatures in the area hovering around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, the flames fed on extremely dry vegetation, a result of climate change bringing frequent droughts and rising heat levels to the state over the last 20 years.

As of July  27, the fire has burned dozens of homes, threatened some 1,400 structures and required evacuation orders for more than 6,000 people.

On Monday, firefighters saw success as 300,000. Liters of water were dropped by aircraft onto the flames. Nearly 2,500 firefighters were on hand to put out the flames. They managed to control the situation but smoke from the fire spread more than 200 miles and clouded the sky above Yosemite as well as other parts of Nevada, Northern California, and Nevada.

Below are a selection of photos from one of California’s most intense, unpredictable wildfires yet.

On July 23, firefighters battled the Oak Fire in Mariposa (Calif.). Firefighters battle the Oak Fire near Mariposa, Calif. on July 23. It is fast-moving and has prompted evacuations.

Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

A line of mailboxes marked with evacuation notices is located along Triangle Road during the Oak Fire at Mariposa on July 23.

David Odisho—Bloomberg/Getty Images

Buckingham Mountain Road residents watch the Oak Fire, which burns close to their homes, in California, between Midpines, Mariposa on July 22.

Tracy Barbutes—Reuters

Mariposa County fires a vehicle on July 23.

Ethan Swope—San Francisco Chronicle/AP

Only a handful of trees are left from the once-living forest that was destroyed by Oak Fire on July 25.

David McNew—AFP/Getty Images

Firefighters from CAL Fire observe a fire operation during the battle against Oak Fire in Jerseydale (California) on July 24.

Justin Sullivan—Getty Images

After the Oak Fire destroyed Triangle Road, Mariposa County in July 26, debris from an uninhabitable home was seen.

Brontë Wittpenn—San Francisco Chronicle/AP

On July 25, Mariposa was hit with a fire that caused the destruction of trees.

David McNew—AFP/Getty Images

On July 24, 2022 a CAL FIRE helicopter dropped Phosphorek at the Oak Fire, near Darrah, Mariposa County.

David Swanson—Reuters

As the Oak Fire crosses Darrah Rd., a firefighter puts out flames. Mariposa County on July 22. The fire was contained by crews and did not spread to an adjoining house.

Noah Berger—AP

In a forest that was destroyed by the Oak Fire in Mariposa, July 25, Embers fell from trees.

David McNew—AFP/Getty Images

Mariposa County’s Oak Fire can be seen on Highway 140, July 22.

Ethan Swope—San Francisco Chronicle/AP

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