Oakhurst Library to host Harlow Fire presentation

On Saturday, October 25, the Oakhurst Library will be hosting a presentation about the mountain-famous Harlow Fire.

The most disastrous fire to strike the Madera and Mariposa Counties was the Harlow Fire of July, 1961. It burned over 43,000 acres and it destroyed the towns of Ahwahnee and Nipinnawasee. It was the fastest burning fire in California history and it took only 17 seconds to get from the base of Deadwood to the top. Some of the observers at the time said that the flames shot 40,000 feet high and the smoke billowed out like a mushroom cloud created by an atomic bomb.

Elizabeth and Jim Johnson from the Mariposa Master Gardener Group will be presenting a DVD on this well-known fire in our foothill communities. They will share information for homeowners to consider when living in this wildland interface.

They will be accompanied by a representative of Cal Fire who will describe some of the improvements that have been made in the science of fire fighting in the past years.

And, several local residents who have first-hand remembrances will be sharing their experiences as well.

The JoAnn Evans, CSO Madera County Sheriff’s department, will be on-hand to register phone numbers for the MCAlert emergency warning system. She will explain how registrations are used to broadcast evacuation orders and how they system is used to help find missing people.

Ed Guzman, General Manager at Sierra Ambulance, will be attending to describe the services they perform during emergency situations and they will be taking subscriptions for their service.

The event will be in the library’s Community Room from 10:30am to Noon. If you have any questions about this special presentation, please call the Library at 559-683-4838 or visit

-Oakhurst Branch Library, Madera County