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Valley Public Radio Staff
Mon August 18, 2014
Wildfire Prompts Evacuations Near Oakhurst
A brush fire burning near Oakhurst in the Central Sierra Nevada, named the Junction Fire, has grown to 1,200 acres and prompted authorities to evacuate over 1,500 homes.
The Madera County Sheriff’s Department declared a local emergency and has issued the mandatory evacuation for all businesses, and residents along the 41 corridor between CA-49 and Road 632, which is also known as Sky Ranch Road.
Erica Stuart, the spokeswoman for the department, says the Red Cross evacuation center is now being moved to Coarsegold.
"Because of the close proximity where our evacuation center was set up in Oakhurst we've now shut it down," Stuart says. "And we're moving everybody further south to the Coarsegold Community in Coarsegold which is also along the corridor which is also along 41."
Officials estimate that about 300 structures are currently threatened. Structures are destroyed, yet the number remains unknown.
Yosemite Unified School District says five schools will be closed on Tuesday due to the blaze.
Authorities report that the fire has crossed Highway 41 and is burning toward Hidden Falls, in the area of Road 222 and Highway 41.