The Pika Fire, ignited by lightning strikes and blazing northwest of North Dome in Yosemite National Park, has intensified, growing to 650 acres as of Sunday morning, National Park Service officials said.
Despite the efforts of fire crews, the blaze remains uncontained, posing a significant challenge to firefighting operations, as the Chronicle reported. The fire, which first erupted on June 29, has spread rapidly since.
Pika Fire Yosemite near North Dome. Operations going well on this managed lightning fire from June29. 500ac. From Glacier Point. pic.twitter.com/v9tl3wehBD— Mark Ruggiero (@markfire) July 16, 2023
On Saturday, more than 40 firefighters worked on fighting the western flank of the fire along the Lehamite Creek trail, according to authorities. However, the battle against the flames was hampered by the emergence of potential spot fires across the fire line, slowing down firefighting progress.
Yosemite closed several trails last week, affecting short sections of the North Dome Trail and Lehamite Creek Trail, as a result.
Weather conditions have not been favorable, according to KTVU. A forecast for scorching heat and dryness has authorities bracing for more difficulties ahead. An excessive heat warning looms, as well, with extreme temperatures likely to persist through Wednesday across the park.
More fires have broken out in Southern California this week, as well. Three separate 200-plus acre wildfires broke out within hours of each other Friday in Riverside County, forcing evacuations, as KTVU reported. The biggest one, called the "Rabbit Fire," is at 7,600 acres, according to the most recently available information.
Feature image of the Pika Fire via Inciweb.