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Fire near Yosemite grows to over 19,000 acres, nearly 40% contained

July 28 (UPI) -- California's Oak Fire near Yosemite National Park has destroyed more than 100 homes and other structures and crews have the blaze about 40% contained, officials said Thursday.

The fire started last Friday and has since blackened about 19,200 acres, Cal Fire said in an update on Thursday. It's burning on the west side of Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County about 115 miles southeast of Sacramento.

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Fire crews have been up against hot temperatures and some winds, and dry vegetation in the area has helped to fuel the flames.

"Fire behavior was moderate overnight with most of the fire activity occurring on the northeast side of the fire," Cal Fire said in its update. "Hand crews will continue to construct the direct line in areas inaccessible to equipment."

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Fire officials announced a community meeting for Thursday night at Mariposa County High School to relay the latest details on the fire and possible additional evacuations.

Officials have already evacuated thousands of residents over the past week.

"With higher temperatures and lower humidity, crews may observe increased fire behavior," Cal Fire added. "Work will continue to address hazards and repair infrastructure within the fire perimeter. Damage inspection is ongoing and will continue until the entire fire area is assessed."

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The number of burned structures have soared over the past two days, from 41 on Tuesday to at least 116 on Thursday.

The National Interagency Fire Center has estimated the cost of fighting the Oak Fire to be about $15.3 million so far. On Thursday, there were close to 4,000 emergency personnel working on the blaze.

Cal Fire said it expects the Oak Fire to be fully contained in about a week.

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