Fox News Weather Center

Thousands Forced to Evacuate as Junction Fire Rages

The Junction Fire has forced the evacuation 13,000 people in Madera County, California, as of Aug. 19, the county sheriff's office reports. Another 2,500 evacuation warnings are in place.

More than 450 firefighters are working to contain the blaze, which has consumed 1,200 acres and damaged eight structures since it ignited. Another 500 structures remain threatened.

"While California is typically very dry this time of year, the ongoing drought conditions increase the threat of new wildfires," according to Meteorologist Eric Leister.

"The drought can cause wildfires to spread more easily, but also weather conditions, such a wind speed and direction as well as relative humidity, will determine how quickly the fire spreads in any given location."

Through Wednesday afternoon, the area will have mostly dry weather with some wind and the possibility of a stray thunderstorm, according to Western Weather Expert Ken Clark.

"The weather won't help, but neither will it hinder," Clark said.

Several roadways in Madera have been closed or are restricted in places, including Highway 41 into Yosemite National Park and Road 222.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.