High tem­per­a­tures cause surge in Fer­gu­son Fire

The Fresno Bee (Sunday) - - Wildf Ires - BY JES­SICA JOHN­SON jjohn­[email protected]­nobee.com

The grow­ing Fer­gu­son Fire claimed 3,548 more acres overnight and the fire’s con­tain­ment fell 5 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to an up­date at 7 a.m. Satur­day.

The fire has burned 80,755 acres and con­tain­ment is at 36 per­cent. Warm and dry con­di­tions are the cause of the fire spread­ing rapidly through­out the night, in­ci­dent com­man­der Mark von Til­low said.

Mean­while, Cal Fire is­sued an evac­u­a­tion warn­ing Satur­day for the ar­eas east of Coul­ter­ville in Mari­posa County af­ter a new wild­fire broke out.

Just af­ter 4 p.m., Cal Fire said the Wagner Fire had spread to 10 acres near Texas Hill Road and Bon­durant Mine Road, east of Coul­ter­ville, and evac­u­a­tions were be­ing or­dered. The fire agency said struc­tures are be­ing threat­ened by the fire.

Also, Yosemite Val­ley re­mains closed through Sun­day.

Park of­fi­cials say they ten­ta­tively plan to re­open Mon­day af­ter a 12-day closure but will still re­assess this week­end.

“We are hop­ing to get back open on Mon­day, but con­di­tions have to be safe,” said park spokesman Scott Ged­i­man, who said the de­ci­sion will be based on air qual­ity, vis­i­bil­ity, weather pat­terns and safety for fire­fight­ers who are per­form­ing pro­tec­tive mea­sures known as back burn­ing near the park’s south­west­ern bor­der.

Fri­day night, the Fer­gu­son Fire in­ci­dent com­man­der re­ported a spot fire jumped over Wa­wona Road, or High­way 41. Stop­ping the spread of the fire and the sup­pres­sion of the spot fires re­main the fire­fight­ers’ top pri­or­ity.

Ten struc­tures have been de­stroyed in the fire, and the es­ti­mated con­tain­ment date is Aug. 15.

Res­i­dents of Yosemite Val­ley were told they had to evac­u­ate by noon Fri­day.

Of­fi­cials said Yosemite Val­ley was “not threat­ened by the fire at this time, but a manda­tory evac­u­a­tion has been is­sued due to mul­ti­ple haz­ards along El Por­tal Road, Big Oak Flat Road, and Wa­wona Road, as well as power out­ages in Yosemite Val­ley.”

A Red Cross shel­ter is lo­cated at New Life Chris­tian Fel­low­ship, 5089 Cole Road in Mari­posa.

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