Scorching Temperatures Spark California Wildfires – Thousands Evacuated Amid Record-Breaking Heat Wave

Mariposa County, California, was hit by scorching temperatures over the Fourth of July holiday, leading to wildfires that raged through the night. Meteorologists had warned of dangerously high heat during the holiday weekend, which indeed came to pass with much of the country experiencing a heat wave breaking daily temperature records.

One significant blaze near Yosemite National Park, known as the French fire, started on Thursday and had engulfed 791 acres by Friday morning. The fire remained uncontained, prompting evacuations in the nearly entire town of Mariposa and adjacent areas under evacuation warnings.

Videos shared on social media depicted the severity of the situation, with flames spreading rapidly through residential streets in Mariposa, illuminating the sky with bright orange hues and creating massive clouds of smoke. Another video captured the aerial effort of dropping fire retardant over forested areas near Mariposa to contain the blaze.

In Northern California, the Thompson Fire in Butte County continued to burn, having consumed almost 3,800 acres and reaching 46% containment as of Friday morning. The fire, which broke out in Oroville, forced thousands to evacuate, although many were able to return home by Thursday.

Amid the heatwave, many Fourth of July celebrations were canceled across California as temperatures soared past 100 degrees in some areas, reaching as high as 110 degrees. Reports indicated that a man named Harold Pulley was arrested for allegedly starting a backfire to contain the flames, which was extinguished by firefighters.

The situation in Mariposa County was exacerbated by power outages affecting almost 3,500 energy customers, adding to the challenges faced by residents coping with the wildfires. The town of Mariposa and surrounding areas are on high alert as firefighting efforts continue to combat the blazes, with concerns over the safety and well-being of those affected by the fires.