Gray Sky Event: The Oak Fire in Mariposa County, California

The megadrought impacting the Western United States has left multiple areas on high alert for wildfires. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the conditions were unfortunately perfect for a massive fire to break out and spread quickly. The Oak Fire ignited just west of Yosemite National Park on July 22, 2022. Thanks to winds and the long-term effects of drought, the Oak Fire exploded to 10,000 acres in just 24 hours, which made it the biggest wildfire in California so far in 2022.

Firefighters are doing their best to contain the spread but such dry conditions with dry winds is making it an extremely difficult challenge. Currently, it has consumed more than 19,000 acres – more than half the size of Paris. Nearly 3,000 firefighters, including 24 helicopters, are battling the blaze.

Gray Sky Team Activated

Our Gray Sky team has been following the destruction of this wildfire closely to determine when it would be safe and skies clear from smoke to collect aerial imagery of the growing damage. With more than 160 structures destroyed–most of which were homes–our team finally was given the all-clear to get up in the air and capture the most heavily impacted areas. Below are just a few of the images we captured, including several Before/After snapshots to provide context for the type of destruction these communities are suffering.

This imagery is available to GIC members and emergency managers for help in responding to those in greatest need. If you would like more information on this collection, please fill out the form at the bottom of this page.