Local Calfire crews from Monterey and San Benito Counties were sent to help Madera County fire managers continue their efforts to keep many safe in the community of Oakhurst after the Junction fire sparked just before 2 p.m. Monday.
The teams from Monterey and San Benito left to help fight the Junction fire Monday afternoon, including a strike team, two inmate hand crews, about 10 extra firefighters, a bulldozer, water helicopter and an air attack plane.
Over 1000 evacuation notices went out at one point. Highway 41 that leads to Yosemite has been reopened.
As of 6:45 P.M. Tuesday, Calfire reports that they're now in containment mode. While it seems the major movement of the fire has stopped, containment is at just 30%. Crews will work to put a full line around this burned area. See the map.
At least 612 acres have burned and 8 structures are destroyed. Deputies say at least two of the structures are businesses and there are some unconfirmed reports that two of the burned structures were homes. We're still waiting for the latest updates from fire managers on the scene.
Calfire crews from Santa Cruz and the Monterey/San Benito unit sent a total of 3 strike teams, 20 individual fire fighters and 3 hand crews to battle the blaze.
Calfire had used their DC10 tanker to drop fire retardant on the fire. Witness accounts say that retardant stopped the advance of the fire near several homes in the Indian Springs and Yosemite Lakes Drive areas.
Overnight, crews had favorable conditions and were able to stop the spread of the fire. Dangerous conditions east of Highway 41 remain and Road 222, the Bass Lake Road, remains closed.
469 firefighters are still on scene and two were reported with minor injuries in the fire fight.
The Madera County Sheriff's office says it may have started in a homeless encampment.
Several road closures remain in the area but the good news is that Highway 41 leading to Yosemite has been reopened at this time.