Madera County brush fire prompts evacuation orders over ‘immediate threat to life’

A plume of smoke rises in the distance above trees.
Smoke hangs in the air over the North Fork fire as seen from a Pacific Gas & Electric Co. camera in Meadow Lakes on Wednesday.

A new brush fire in Madera County has prompted several evacuation orders near North Fork, a small community in the Sierra Nevada foothills.

The Fork fire, which broke out shortly before 5 p.m., had grown to 400 acres by Wednesday night, said Jamie Williams, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit.

The blaze was 0% contained, Cal Fire officials said.

Structures are threatened, said Williams, who did not know how many or what type of structures.

The Madera County Sheriff’s Office has issued numerous evacuation orders.


Residents are asked to visit for a map of all zones under evacuation orders and warnings.

“There is an immediate threat to life,” sheriff’s deputies said. “This is an evacuation order to leave NOW. The area is being closed to public access. Take action immediately.”

Road 222 from Road 200 to Carmen Ranch Road, and Douglas Ranger Station Road and Road 225 to Boulder Creek Drive are closed, deputies said.

An evacuation center is open at Oakhurst Community Center, 39800 Road 425B, deputies said.

This is a developing story and will be updated.