Junction Fire threatening 500 structures

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - Six hundred firefighters from throughout California are fighting to protect homes that are under threat from a wildfire burning in the foothills near Yosemite National Park.

Madera County Sheriff's office released a statement Tuesday morning that said the Junction Fire in Madera County had destroyed eight structures and was threatening more than 500 homes.

The fire, which burned through 1,200 acres, started Monday at 1:50 p.m. near Highway 41 and Highway 49 junction in Oakhurst. There is zero percent containment.

It isn't clear how many of those structures are homes, but officials said mandatory evacuation orders had gone out to some 13,000 phone numbers for homes and businesses.

Four hotels in the community of Oakhurst about 16 miles away from an entrance to Yosemite were evacuated and Tuesday classes have been canceled for most of the Yosemite Unified School District.

The fire was burning near a propane business with 30,000 gallon tanks on site, but the Modesto Bee reports the tanks were spared and the threat to them was brief.

The Sacramento City Fire Department is assisting in this fire.


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