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Evacuations ordered, Highway 49 closed as fire burns in Mariposa

Air tankers and helicopters were called in on the Spring Fire southeast of Mariposa Sunday afternoon.
Air tankers and helicopters were called in on the Spring Fire southeast of Mariposa Sunday afternoon. Sierra Star

A wildfire sparked along Highway 49 southeast of Mariposa Sunday afternoon forced evacuations of numerous homes and a complete closure of the highway, all while causing a power outage to more than 2,000 customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

The blaze, named the Spring Fire, was reported around 1:45 p.m. near the Mariposa Lutheran Church and grew to an estimated 80 acres by 5 p.m. Flames jumped across Highway 49 around 2:45 p.m., forcing its closure shortly south of Ashworth Road. Drivers are advised to use Darrah and Triangle roads as a detour.

At least five air tankers and three helicopters are making water and retardant drops on the flames, alongside strike teams, bulldozers, water tenders, and engines from Cal Fire, the Mariposa County Fire Department, and Sierra National Forest. One Very Large Air Tanker (VLAT) has been ordered.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office first issued evacuation orders for residents on Ashworth and Allred roads, with an evacuation center set up at Woodland School, located at 3394 Woodland Drive in Mariposa. Evacuation orders were then ordered for Ching Road to Silva Road, Grist Road to Old Oak Lane, Silva Road to Carlton Road, Carleton Road to Morning Star Lane, and the entirety of Morning Star Lane.

PG&E is working to restore power to 2,071 customers in the areas of Triangle and Darrah roads, and at Eastman Lake.

The cause of the Spring Fire is under investigation.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

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