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Spring Fire update, July 4: Highway 49 reopened, evacuations lifted

An aerial shot after the Spring Fire was being brought under control by firefighters.
An aerial shot after the Spring Fire was being brought under control by firefighters. Submitted photo

The Spring Fire, which began July 2 southeast of Mariposa, remained at 225 acres Tuesday morning and was 50% contained.

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office reported all evacuations ordered during the blaze were lifted, with Allred and Ching roads open only to residents. Highway 49 was also reopened at 10 a.m. Tuesday, after it was closed Monday at 8 p.m., the sheriff’s office said.

In an update from Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit, a total of 503 responders were fighting the blaze, with 38 engines, 19 crews, four water tenders, and 43 personnel overhead in air tankers and helicopters.

As part of that update, Cal Fire gave a list of tips to evacuated residents so they can safely return to their homes:

Watch for emergency and utility vehicles working in the area.

If possible, minimize travel through areas where crews are working.

Drive slowly. Debris or damage from the fire on roads and driveways can be dangerous.

Trees and brush could have been weakened by the fire and may lose limbs or fall.

Rocks loosened by fire may roll and crumble. If rocks have rolled down a slope, expect more to follow.

White ash is evidence of hot material. Smoldering holes in the ground can be full of hot coals.

Check the well and pump house to ensure it is in working order.

Utility poles may have been weakened by the fire.

Check gutters, decks, crawl spaces and the attic, woodpiles and debris piles for embers.

Look at the electric meter. If there is any visible damage do not attempt to turn the breaker on.

If there is any damage to the gas meter, gas lines, or propane tank do not attempt to repair or turn on these services. Call your local propane company or utility.

If there are electrical wires on the ground stay clear and contact your local utility immediately.

If the electricity is off, make sure all appliances are off. If there is no damage to the building and the meter you may turn on the circuit breaker.

Check if the phone, security system and alarms are working.

Contact 911 if any danger is perceived.

Please call PG&E with any questions or concerns regarding utilities. 1-800-743-5000.

No structures have been destroyed, though one was reportedly damaged. All forward progress of the blaze was stopped the night of July 2.

The cause of the Spring Fire is under investigation.

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