Railroad Fire prompts evacuation of Tenaya Lodge and damages historic trains | abc30.com

Fresno, Calif. (KFSN) —
All day the work of firefighters could be heard as they battled day two of a raging blaze in Madera and Mariposa Counties. You could see them in the Sierra National Forest, dousing hot flames with water– a blaze that ran up countless trees and nearly hopped Highway 41.

While both Sugar Pine and Fish Camp are under mandatory evacuation orders, there were some like Bob Keller who stayed behind.

Keller has been without power for more than a day, but he said for now he holds the comfort in knowing his 60-year-old Fish Camp home is ok.

“We’ve had nothing but help, the Forest Service, Cal Fire– and they were a great help to keep things under control.”

However, there are dozens of others who do not have that peace of mind.

On our Twitter page, a few people reached out asking if their properties were safe. So we drove by Anthony Avila’s vacation rental to give him the good news he could not see for himself.

“I’m definitely thankful– really happy actually. It’s scary knowing everything can go in a second. Without hearing from you guys and ABC30 it’s kind of hard to know what going on.”

As crews used a nearby pond for resources to tackle the growing fire the owners of the historic landmark Sugar Pine Railroad are left on edge. At least one train and rail car were burned in the fire and there is no telling if it will happen to the others.

The US Forest Service said no update will be given Wednesday night, but what we do know from an earlier release is that the Railroad Fire has already burned 1,200 acres and was only five-percent contained.

Firefighters said heat and strong winds made it difficult to contain


The fast moving flames also prompted evacuations at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp.

The fast moving flames also prompted evacuations at the Tenaya Lodge in Fish Camp. Just last week the hotel was providing shelter to evacuees of the South Fork Fire near Wawona.

More than half of the guests staying at the hotel were visiting Yosemite National Park at the time of the evacuation. On Wednesday the CHP escorted visitors to the hotel to gather their belongings and leave.

Around 20 employees are staying the night to protect the property and aid in the firefight.

Railroad Fire Incident Report

Railroad Fire, Sierra National Forest (NF), California.

The Railroad Fire started August 29, 2017 at approximately 1300 hrs. West of Highway 41, near the community of Sugar Pine, South of Yosemite National Park and Fish Camp.

It is a vegetation fire burning on the Sierra NF. The fire is burning in steep terrain, with difficult access and heavy fuel loading. Potential for this fire is high.

Fire activity this afternoon has increased due to high temperatures and stiff up canyon winds.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the community of Sugar Pine and Sugar Pine Camp and the community of Fish Camp.

There are 100 structures threatened. Seven structures have been destroyed.

Highway 41 is in a hard closure north of Cedar Valley Drive to the South entrance to Yosemite National Park and Highway 41 southbound from Wawona to the South entrance of Yosemite. Yosemite visitors are to use Highway 49 to Highway 140 or 120 for entrance to the National Park. Jackson Road Campgrounds on the Sierra National Forest are also closed.

Presently the fire has consumed approximately 1200 acres and is 5% contained, cause of the fire is under investigation. Reduced wind speeds and temperatures moderated fire behavior allowing fire crews to make good progress last night.

Resources on this fire consist of 26 Fire Engines, 7 Hand Crews, 2 Helicopters, 3 Air Tankers

Total Personnel: 350

Assisting Agencies: CAL FIRE, Madera County Fire. Madera County Sheriff, Mariposa County Sheriff and Mariposa County Fire.

Additional resources are on order.

Today at approximately 1800 hrs the Central Sierra Interagency Incident Management Team (Type 2), will take over the incident command from the Sierra NF.


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