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Thousands evacuated over wildfire near Yosemite as California governor declares emergency

By Associated Press

 

Oak fire prompts Gavin Newsom to declare state of emergency for Mariposa County as firefighters scramble to contain the blaze

California governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency for Mariposa County on Saturday after a fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite national park exploded in size, prompting evacuation orders for thousands of people.

The Oak fire, which began Friday afternoon south-west of the park near Midpines in Mariposa County, grew to 10.2 sq miles (26.5 sq km) by Saturday morning, according to the California department of forestry and fire protection, or CalFire.

Evacuation orders were put in effect Saturday for more than 6,000 people living across a several-mile span in the sparsely populated rural area, said Daniel Patterson, a spokesperson for the Sierra national forest. Power had been shut off to more than 2,000 homes and businesses.

 

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