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Oak Fire

The Oak Fire and its burn scar are seen on July 24, in this satellite image released by the NASA Earth Observatory.

California’s Oak Fire has burned through more than 18,000 acres and destroyed more than 40 structures since it ignited near Yosemite National Park Friday (July 22), as fire crews in the air battle visibility issues and personnel on the ground work steep terrain, according to CNN.

The fire grew only slightly Tuesday (July 26) — to 18,532 acres and containment remained at 26%, according to an update from state fire management agency Cal Fire.

“Although good progress continues on the fire, there is much work to be done,” the update said. Officials said several evacuation orders had been changed to fire advisements.

Some areas are not accessible to bulldozers so crews on foot cut in a fire line, and smoke from the fire hampered the response from the 24 helicopter units involved.

A total of 42 single residence structures and 19 outbuildings have been destroyed in the fire, the update said.

More than 1,100 structures remain threatened.

On Tuesday morning, Cal Fire officials said in the overnight incident report: “Fire crews continue providing structure defense, extinguishing hot spots, and building and improving direct lines. Persistent drought, critically dry fuels, and tree mortality continue to contribute to the fire’s spread.”

The challenging terrain and abundant dry vegetation fueling the fire has complicated efforts to tamp down its growth, Cal Fire spokesperson Cpt. Keith Wade told CNN Monday.

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