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Firefighters make strong progress on Ben Fire near Mariposa

A photo of the Ben Fire, sparked on June 28, 2017 south of Mariposa and west of Ahwahnee.
A photo of the Ben Fire, sparked on June 28, 2017 south of Mariposa and west of Ahwahnee. Submitted photo

Firefighters continued to tame a wildfire burning near Mariposa and Ahwahnee Friday.

Jaime Williams, spokeswoman for Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit said the Ben Fire was 50% contained at 630 acres around 8:30 a.m. Friday.

Assigned to fight the blaze were 40 engine and truck companies, 17 fire crews, four bulldozers, seven water tenders, and one helicopter. Of the 419 personnel working to contain the fire, 40 were part of air attack crews.

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

Ben Hur Road, at Buckeye Road and the entrance to Quick Ranch, were reopened only to residents and closed for the general public.

The fire was sparked around 4 p.m. Wednesday in the 3100 block of Ben Hur Road. It rapidly grew to 400 acres within two hours, and all available firefighting resources were called in to keep the flames at bay. No structures have been threatened, with no evacuations, as the inferno continues to scorch grasslands and oak wooded areas.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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.

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

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