Gov. Jerry Brown proclaimed a state of emergency Thursday for Madera, Tulare and Mariposa counties – each of which have been ravaged by major fires in the last week.
Brown noted the strain of local resources and threat to people, property and critical infrastructure as primary reasons for the proclamation, which compels state agencies to follow instructions given by the Office of Emergency Services to assist with firefighting and related efforts. It also asks all residents to follow the advice of emergency personnel.
The four fires named in the proclamation were the Railroad Fire in Madera and Mariposa counties, the Mission Fire in Madera County, the Pier Fire in Tulare County and the Peak Fire in Mariposa County.
The latest Railroad Fire report estimates nearly 12,000 acres burned and 43 percent containment. Fourteen structures have been destroyed, and 500 have been threatened. More than 600 people have been ordered to evacuate since the fire began on Aug. 29.
The Pier Fire has grown to nearly 24,000 acres and was 30 percent contained as of Thursday afternoon. The blaze also prompted some evacuations in rural Tulare County.
The Mission and Railroad fires have caused a massive decline in the central San Joaquin Valley’s air quality, especially in the Oakhurst area.
Earlier this month, the state of California secured Federal Emergency Management Assistance grants to help pay for firefighting costs.