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July 29 Oak Fire Update: 116 Homes Destroyed, Minimal Growth, 45% Containment



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Favorable overnight weather conditions enabled crews to knock down more of the Oak Fire in Mariposa County, officials said Friday morning.

The fire, which broke out the afternoon of July 22 near Midpines, has charred 19,208 acres and destroyed 162 structures — including 116 homes, Cal Fire reported.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“Fire crews, along with cooperating agencies, are working around the clock to repopulate the areas within the fire perimeter,” Cal Fire said in its Friday morning incident report.

“Crews continue to work around communities patrolling for hot spots and providing structure defense. Firefighters are building and improving direct fire lines in extremely steep, rugged, and difficult-to-access terrain. Persistent drought, critically dry fuels, and tree mortality remain contributing factors to the fire’s spread. Damage inspection will continue until all areas of the fire have been assessed.”

Evacuation Orders and Other Information

You can view road closures, evacuation orders, and animal evacuation information at this link.

PG&E Donates $90K for Fire Relief Efforts

PG&E announced Friday afternoon that it was donating $90,000 to support relief efforts and assist residents displaced by the Oak Fire and other ongoing western wildfires.

$50,000 will go to the Mariposa County Community Foundation and $40,000 to the Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region.

“These donations reflect the dedication that PG&E has to our hometowns,” said Joshua Simes, vice president of PG&E’s Central Valley Region, in a news release. “Many of our coworkers responding to this fire and their families and friends live and work in the Mariposa area. And we all know the impact wildfires have on communities we serve.”

Said Mariposa Community Foundation President David Butler: “We especially appreciate the timing of this donation to allow the Community Foundation to respond and assist those residents affected by the Oak Fire.”

PG&E crews are working to restore service to 730 customers affected by the Oak Fire, the utility said.

GoFundMe Accounts Verified

GoFundMe announced in a news release this week that it “will identify all verified fundraisers created to help those who have lost their businesses, homes, and have been displaced by the Oak Fire in Mariposa County. ”

Here is a look at two families in need of help:

  • Steve Pratt made it out of his home with his dog, truck, and a small bag of clothes. He’s lived in Mariposa for over 30 years. His son Kyle launched a GoFundMe to help his dad with his finances because along with his 98-year-old grandmother.
  • Nearly $7,500 has been raised to support Bud, Darcelle, and Buddy Warren. The family had lived in their homes on Jerseydale Road since 1969. Jean Warren launched a GoFundMe for her parents and brother. She writes: “My brother works for the USDA Forest Service on Signal Peak Lookout during the summer. My father is retired from the Forest Service and Yosemite National Park Service. My father was a firefighter for many years in the Sierra Nevada Forest, including at Jerseydale Fire Station. My father is 91 years old and is in feeble health, and my mother provides his care.”

You can view all of the verified fundraisers at this link.


Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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