MARIPOSA, Calif. (KRON) — The Oak Fire, west of Yosemite National Park, has now burned more than 18,000 acres in Mariposa County, destroying dozens of homes and forcing thousands to evacuate.

One couple who was forced to evacuate had moved to Mariposa a couple of years ago from San Francisco. “We did see flames. We did see black plumes of smoke,” said Avand Amiri, resident of Mariposa.

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Avand was in San Francisco when he received an emergency alert on Friday that his home near Triangle and Darrah Roads in Mariposa was under mandatory evacuation because of the Oak Fire. Avand traveled to Mariposa first thing Saturday morning to grab some of his valuables from the house.

“That was the do or die moment like that day was going to determine the fate of our house,” said Amiri. He said the flames and smoke came too close for comfort.

“Between the mushroom clouds and air attack it has the feeling of like a warzone,” said Amiri. His house escaped the flames thanks to firebreaks and air attacks made by firefighters.

“I think there were planes coming every five minutes, all day long and that made a huge difference. I mean it is a matter of resources to put these fires out. There’s just way too much fuel. It’s way too dry,” said Amiri.

However, others were not as lucky. So far, the Oak Fire destroyed at least 74 structures and damaged nine others.