California burns, Yosemite Park in the crosshairs. Risk of smoke tornadoes, thousands fleeing

Rome, 24 July 2022 – Dramatic situation in California, gripped in the grip of hot record and devastated of the fires. In these hours the alarm is concentrated in the county of Mariposa, with the gigantic Oak fire that almost touches the park Yosemite National. Governor Gavin Newsom today declared a state of emergency. Ordered evacuation of thousands of people fleeing one of the largest fires recorded this year in California. According to Daniel Swain, a climatologist at the University of California, the blaze “has spread in all directions due to burning and drought. The series of relatively small and nondestructive wildfires that have hit California so far this season, it seems to be over”.

Fire in Yosemite (Ansa)

The Oak Park Fire

The flames started on Friday afternoon from the southwest of the park, near Midpines. Almost 5 thousand hectares of land have already been burned, the fire has more than tenfolded in less than 24 hours. And, according to CNN, the firefighters who work incessantly on the spot are currently unable to contain the advance. A spokesperson for the Sierra National Forest said evacuation orders have been issued for more than 6,000 people living in the rural, fortunately sparsely populated area. The testimonies are dramatic. There are those who say they fled in a hurry from their homes only with the clothes he was wearing. At the moment the authorities and rescuers are using all their strength to protect their homes. A Red Cross evacuation center has been set up in an elementary school in Mariposa. 10 properties have already been destroyed by the flames, another 5 damaged, and two thousand are at risk. Then we will think of the giant and secular sequoias of Yosemite, already threatened by the fires in recent weeks. More than 500 firefighters are working to extinguish the flames with the assistance of aircraft.

California fire, hell a stone's throw from Yosemite Park
California fire, hell a stone’s throw from Yosemite Park

Whirlwind of smoke

Citizens posted on social networks pictures of a huge and impressive whirlwind of smoke dense that rises from the forest, like a tornado, a dangerous phenomenon that can fuel the fire. “The extreme heat will continue in the central United States and extend to the Northeast this weekend, with record temperatures expected across the region on Sunday,” said the National Weather Service (NWS). Warm “which will then fuel bad weather in the northern Midwest, with dangerous winds, large hail and some tornadoes.”

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