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Ben Fire grows to 630 acres in Mariposa County, but containment is improving

The Ben Fire in Mariposa County, west of Ahwahnee, was reported at 630 acres and 30% contained Thursday. The blaze was sparked around 4 p.m. Wednesday.
The Ben Fire in Mariposa County, west of Ahwahnee, was reported at 630 acres and 30% contained Thursday. The blaze was sparked around 4 p.m. Wednesday. Submitted photo

A wildfire in Mariposa County, directly west of Ahwahnee, has grown to 630 acres but is 30% contained, Cal Fire spokeswoman Jaime Williams said in a Thursday release.

Williams said 30 engine and truck companies, seven water tenders, 20 fire crews, nine bulldozers, three helicopters, and two air tankers are at work to keep the blaze under control.

Of the some 325 personnel on staff, 40 are overhead on air attack, Williams said.

“Fire suppression resources both ground and air continue to construct and improve containment lines around the fire’s perimeter,” Williams said.

The fire, known as the Ben Fire because it was sparked along Ben Hur Road, started around 4 p.m. Wednesday. It started in the 3100 block of Ben Hur Road, and estimates on its size quickly grew to 400 acres within only two hours. The inferno is burning in a grassy wildland area, with no structures threatened and no reported injuries, Williams said.

Ben Hur Road remains closed at Buckeye Road and the entrance to Quick Ranch, Williams said.

Cooperating agencies include Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, the Mariposa County Sheirff’s Office, Mariposa County Fire Department, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and the California Highway Patrol.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

For a previous story on the Ben Fire, click here.

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