The fire remains active, showing "moderate flame behavior last night, with most of the activity on the northeast flank," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection reported, warning of a possible increase in flames today due to "warmer temperatures and lower humidity."
Three thousand seven hundred fifty-eight firefighters have been mobilized in Mariposa County to fight the blaze that began last Friday, July 22, with rapid movement towards Yosemite National Park within its first days.
The flames have been confirmed to have destroyed 116 residential and commercial structures.
A witness to the initial flames of the fast-moving #OakFire, Robert Sandling recalls that he "saw the fire when it was just starting. The flames were jumping up over the trees." The maps that @CAL_FIRE public information officers bring over help the residents understand the fire. pic.twitter.com/DZOjV8GRfz
Thursday morning, the National Fire Center (NIFC) said over 70 large fires, now active, have burned 1.22 million acres of grasslands and forests across 12 states. The NIFC reported two new large fires, one in Idaho and another in Colorado.
The agency further said that "prolonged near-record high temperatures and extremely dry combustible materials continue to increase the potential for wildfires."
2.3 million acres have been consumed by wildfires in the U.S. so far this year and through Tuesday, the NIFC said, noting that such a figure doubles the area burned last year and triples the space burned in 2020.
For its part, the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of excessive heat for central Oregon, southern Washington, and northern California and added that the summer heat affecting the country "produces dangerous conditions in the Northwest, the Mid-South, and parts of the Atlantic Coast through the Carolinas."