USA: Oak fire rages near Yosemite National Park

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A fast-moving wildfire near Yosemite National Park broke out Friday afternoon and prompted evacuations, even as firefighters made progress in battling an earlier blaze that had burned to the edge of a grove of giant redwoods.

The Oak Fire started at about 2 p.m. southwest of the park near Midpines in Mariposa County and quickly spread to 1,600 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The U.S. Forest Service said it would soon take emergency action to save the giant sequoias by accelerating brush-clearing projects to protect the world’s largest trees from the growing threat of wildfires.

Wildfires have killed up to 20 percent of all large redwoods in the past two years.