A new wildfire in Mariposa County, at the southern edge of Yosemite National Park near the south fork of the Merced River, has grown since igniting on Sunday to 1,613 acres, scorching mostly uninhabited land about 1.5 miles east of the community of Wawona. It follows on the major Detwiler Fire last month, and it's dubbed the South Fork Fire, and so far much of its spread has been to the north, away from Wawona. Firefighters who are part of the US Fire Service say their "Priority is protection of life and property of Wawona and [the] Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias."
Unlike the Detwiler Fire, this fire appears to have been sparked by a lightning strike. Lightning also ignited ten other small fires in the last two weeks, as the National Park Service tells the Chronicle.
The fire is currently under zero containment, and grew from 400 acres on Sunday. MyMotherlode reports that "Camp Wawona and homes on Chilnualna Falls Ridge remain under a voluntary evacuation advisory. Yosemite officials indicate that additional evacuation advisories or orders could be called within the next 24 hours."
Additionally, deeper into the park to the north, the two-week-old Empire Fire continues to burn, and is currently at 1,312 acres. It has caused the closure of several trails in the park, and is helping make things smoky in the area along with the South Fork Fire. The Empire Fire is approximately one mile south of the Brideveil Creek campground.
KRON 4 explains that these fires are being fueled in part by dead and dying trees who suffered the scourge of the bark beetle during the drought.
Meanwhile, closer to the Bay, the Canyon Fire which broke out late last week in Napa County is now 100 percent contained.