Meanwhile, the Rough fire, the largest active fire in California, exploded to more than 110,000 acres on Thursday, forcing the evacuation of staff and visitors from a large swath of Kings Canyon National Park east of Fresno, fire officials said.
Evacuation orders were expanded to thousands of homes in northern California’s Sierras on Friday as a rapidly spreading wildfire roared for a third day through drought-parched timber and brush, threatening mountain communities near Sacramento.
The fire has been burning in the area for almost six weeks and the cat sanctuary is closing its doors temporarily.
According to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), the blaze has reduced to ashes approximately 14,700 acres of land and efforts are underway to contain the fires, but so far just 10% of the flames have been extinguished. The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is also assisting.
The Fresno Bee reports Wednesday that the roster of areas advised to be ready to evacuate grew with warnings issued for the communities of Pinehurst, Miramonte and Dunlap.
In Tuolumne County near Yosemite National Park, a firefighter was injured and a home was destroyed when two fires combined in the Cedar Ridge area, state fire spokeswoman Lisa Williams said. It has spread to Calaveras County, but is about 20 percent contained.
Much of California simmered in a stew of high heat and humidity on Thursday, bringing thunderstorms, causing power outages and leaving some school kids in overheated classrooms. Trails on the north rim of Yosemite Valley south of the Tioga Road and east of Yosemite Creek are closed, Gediman said.