USA — On August 1th, the residents in Fresno, California found themselves at risk as fire blazed in close proximity to Yosemite National Park. The winds created a lot of issues in the San Joaquin Valley, although firefighters were making some progress against the colossal fire. Initially, dense smoke blew into the Lake Tahoe and Nevada area, but the wind shifted the smoke west to the San Joaquin Valley area.
Firefighters working to control Yosemite wildfire photo from Flickr user Rennett Stowe
A health alert was issued for San Joaquin, Merced, Fresno, Tulare, Madera and Stanislaus counties by the regional authorities of the air pollution control. The authorities warned residents to stay inside at the smell or sight of smoke. This was especially important for anyone who suffered from heart or lung problems.
Some progress has been made as crews battled the fire on Friday, building containment lines of about 35 percent to encircle more than one third of the enormous forest fire. Some residents were given the green light by officials to go back to their small mountainous communities.
Some firefighters were being sent home and more would go home in the upcoming days. We are gaining the upper hand, but more work is still there to be done, Daniel Berlant, the spokesperson representing the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection indicated. Up until Friday, there were still almost five thousand firefighters on the scene of the fire.
The fire has been blazing now for two weeks and has done damage to 333 square miles of oak, pine and brush. This makes it the largest wildfire in the United States to date and the fifth in recent California history. Mandatory evacuations were still in place along the southeastern edge of the fire.