July 2, 2008 FIRE UPDATE - Central California, Oliver Fire, Oakhurst and Yosemite

Services for Real Estate Pros with The Law Offices of Elisabeth A. Lambert

Good news for Central Valley and Sierra foothill residents related to the recent wildfire activity! The cooler weather and higher humidity levels have allowed fire crews to begin to make progress on the Oliver fire located southwest of Yosemite National Park. The Oliver fire is now 75% contained. Air pollution levels have dropped and are now registering in the Moderate range.

Although,the Central Valley has gained some relief, coastal areas like the Big Sur area are still deep in battle against raging fires. The Basin Fire complex is currently only 3% contained. The link will take you to the Monterey County Fire Website with information regarding evacuations, etc.


[I've removed a photo of the Big Sur fires taken by AP and attributed to them and the photographer out of copyright concerns] Yahoo! has a gallery of fire photos. Click here to see them.

Governor Schwarzenegger has called in the National Guard to assist fire crews in their fire suppression efforts. Read the Washington Post article (dateline Fresno) "National Guard Troops Set to Relieve Fire Crews." 

Also see the article "Nebraska National Guard Troops to Help Fight Fires in California."

Below is additional detailed information regarding the Oliver Fire.

Oliver Fire Incident Information:

Last Updated: July 2, 2008, 8:45 am

Date/Time Started: June 21, 2008, 5:10 pm

Administrative Unit: CAL FIRE Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit

County: Mariposa County Location: North of Ponderosa Basin

Acres Burned: 2,789

Containment: 75% contained

Structures Threatened: 200 residences, 225 outbuildings

Evacuations: The evacuation warning for Aurora Road (5S09), Standard Mill Road (5S03), and the 5,100 block to 6,100 block of Chowchilla Mountain Road (approximately 47 homes WILL BE LIFTED at 6:00 p.m. today.

Chowchilla Mountain Road east of Westfall Road will also be completely opened.

Cause: Lightning

Cooperating Agencies: CAL FIRE, United States Forest Service, CHP, OES, Mariposa County Fire, Mariposa County Sheriff, Mariposa County Human Services, American Red Cross, CDCR, and CCC.

Total Fire Personnel: 730 (426 CAL FIRE)

Engines: 66

Fire crews: 26

Helicopters 1


Water tenders: 13

Costs to date: $10.2 million

Conditions: The fire spread has slowed, however the fire continues backing in steep inaccessible terrain. There are areas of unburned vegetation within the interior of the fire area that continue to ignite and burn. Mop-up of the large fuels is a slow and tedious process. As fire suppression activity diminishes, demobilization of some firefighters is occurring. Residents and visitors to the foothill and mountain area are reminded that fireworks are not allowed due to high fire danger. Residents are asked to take responsibility for living in the wildlands by creating and maintaining a minimum of 100 feet of Defensible Space around all structures.

CAL FIRE Incident Command Team #6 is assigned to this incident.

Download the latest fact sheet

Phone Numbers: 209-966-4784 (Oliver Fire Information)

Comments (5)

Chuck Willman UtahHomes.me
Utah Homes - Alpine, UT
New House Utah - Utah Hero Homes

My goodness... the camping trips I made through those areas- just gorgeous. I hope the fighters can continue to make gains.

Jul 02, 2008 10:03 AM
Lisa Lambert
The Law Offices of Elisabeth A. Lambert - Fresno, CA
Esq. 1031 Exchange Expert

It is gorgeous. I hope they're continue their success. Forest fires often serve a valuable purpose in clearing underbrush and overly dense forests creating more habitat for grazing species. However, it is very scary when they occur so close to human populations. They expect to Oliver contained by July 5th.

Thanks for the comment Chuck.


Jul 02, 2008 10:31 AM
Gerard Maher
Coldwell Banker Alfonso Realty - Ocean Springs, MS
CRS Ocean Springs, MS

Thanks for the update Lisa,

I had to evacuate my home cause of the fires down here last October and all I can say is, man do those firefighters deserve all our respect and generosity. They sometimes work more than 24 hours straight, tired and exhausted.  So if you see one, thank them.

Jul 02, 2008 12:01 PM
Lisa Lambert
The Law Offices of Elisabeth A. Lambert - Fresno, CA
Esq. 1031 Exchange Expert


I will absolutely thank them. They really work hard. There dedication and commitment is unbelievable. I hope your property was ok? You had tough run. I was supposed to speak at the ICSC legal conference there in October and it was cancelled because of the fires.


Jul 02, 2008 12:05 PM
Ronald Gillis
Southwest Florida Notaries (Mortgage Notary Signing Agent) - Port Charlotte, FL
CNSA Southwest Florida. Notaries, Port Charlotte, 941-7-NOTARY

Awesome view, but I still don't think I would do well up there.


Jul 12, 2008 10:42 PM