Fire Watch

Aug 19, 2014 7:33 AM by Associated Press

13,000 evacuation calls in California wildfire

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - An out-of-control wildfire is growing near Yosemite National Park in Central California.

The blaze in Madera County has grown from 500 acres to 1,200 acres as authorities try to get residents in the area to evacuate.

The county sheriff says he's issued mandatory evacuation orders to some 13,000 homes and businesses. And another 2,500 calls have gone out, telling people that they eventually may need to leave.

Also four hotels in the community of Oakhurst, about 16 miles away from the entrance to Yosemite, were evacuated.

Authorities have closed down State Route 41 toward Yosemite and they say travelers will need to use different routes into the park.

There's also a fear of explosions. Fire officials say the blaze is burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on the site. Firefighters are still trying to save the facility.

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

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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