Loading articles...

13,000 evacuation calls go out as wildfire burns near California's Yosemite National Park

Smoke from a wildfire rises above the San Gabriel Mountains above Azusa, Calif., Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014. A wildfire in the Angeles National Forest in Southern California is forcing people to evacuate from a campground and recreational areas. U.S. Forest Service spokesman Nathan Judy says the fire above the foothill community of Azusa was reported about 2:30 p.m. Sunday. (AP Photo/John Antczak)

MARIPOSA, Calif. – Authorities have sent evacuation orders to some 13,000 phone numbers as an out-of-control wildfire bears down on a foothill community near Yosemite National Park in Central California.

Sheriff John Anderson issued the evacuation orders late Monday and declared a local state of emergency in Madera County.

The 13,000 calls to evacuate included both homes and businesses, and it was not immediately clear how many people were involved, sheriff’s spokeswoman Erica Stuart said.

Four hotels in the community of Oakhurst about 16 miles away from an entrance to Yosemite were evacuated and Tuesday classes have been cancelled for most of the Yosemite Unified School District.

Another 2,500 more calls went out warning people they may also need to evacuate, Stuart said.

The 1,200-acre blaze had burned at least two structures but it wasn’t immediately clear what they were, officials said.

State Route 41 toward Yosemite was closed down in the area and travellers would need to use different routes into the park, authorities said.

The fire was burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on the site. Firefighters were trying to save the facility but were wary of the danger of explosions.

“We will be in there as long as we can, but firefighter safety is an issue,” state fire Division Chief Don Stein told the Fresno Bee.

There have been no reports of injuries.

Meanwhile, another blaze that began Monday some 50 miles northeast of Bakersfield has surged to 3,000 acres, or nearly five square miles.

“It’s cranking,” U.S. Forest Service Spokeswoman Cindy Thill told the Bakersfield Californian.

The fire burning near Lake Isabella in Kern County brought recommended evacuation orders for several neighbourhoods. The Forest Service said.

Some structures had burned, but it wasn’t immediately clear how many there were or if any were homes, the Forest Service said.

Northeast of Los Angeles, crews were making quick work of a 275-acre wildfire that forced the evacuation of 200 people from a campground and recreational areas.

The blaze that broke out Sunday afternoon above the foothill community of Glendora was 60 per cent contained by Monday night and largely reduced to smoking embers.