UPDATE: The Hunter Fire is effectively contained, since it’s well within containment lines established for the Detwiler Fire, one Cal Fire information officer said. Click here for the updated story.
Two new fires melded into a single incident Thursday that quickly grew to more than an estimated 100 acres in Mariposa County, near where the Detwiler Fire started nearly two weeks ago.
The new blaze, which started around 11:30 a.m., was named the Hunter Fire around 1:40 p.m., and reported at 40 acres with a moderate to dangerous rate of spread.
At 2:30, firefighters estimated the fire at more than 100 acres, per scanner reports.
Around 3 p.m., drones were reportedly flying on the northern end of the flames, forcing aircraft to be temporarily grounded over safety concerns until the area could be cleared, per scanner reports. Drones have proven to be a danger to aircraft in previous years, and anyone caught flying one over wildfires could be subject to arrest.
The fire is located in the Hunters Valley area east of Lake McClure, near where the Detwiler Fire began July 16.
Air tankers, bulldozers, and fire crews were all diverted from the Detwiler Fire to respond.
At 1 p.m., a Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) and two more air tankers were ordered. Additional resources have since been requested as the flames appear to be gaining strength, per scanner reports.
This story will be updated.