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Wildfire Near Yosemite is Now California’s Biggest This Season

An air tanker drops fire retardant drop on the Oak Fire near Mariposa, Calif., on Sunday. Photo: David McNew/AFP via Getty Images
An air tanker drops fire retardant drop on the Oak Fire near Mariposa, Calif., on Sunday. Photo: David McNew/AFP via Getty Images

The massive wildfire near California’s Yosemite National Park forced thousands more people to evacuate Monday as it burned across nearly 17,000 acres at 10% containment, per Cal Fire.

The big picture: The Oak Fire in Mariposa County, where a state of emergency has been declared, is now California’s biggest blaze this wildfire season despite only igniting on Friday, as firefighters face hot, dry conditions.

Our thought bubble, via Axios’ Andrew Freedman: While the fire’s rapid growth rate is impressive, it pales in comparison to the megafires we’ve seen in recent years.

Threat level: The fire is spreading as California, like much of the U.S. West, is in the grip of an ongoing climate-change related extreme drought.

The bottom line: It doesn’t bode well for the state, given the fire season in parts of California continues into October or November.

Go deeper: America is staring down a summer of disasters

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