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Detwiler Fire scorches 15,500 acres, forces additional evacuations

An image of the Detwiler Fire, which grew to 11,000 acres Monday afternoon after it was sparked shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, 2017.
An image of the Detwiler Fire, which grew to 11,000 acres Monday afternoon after it was sparked shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, July 16, 2017. Submitted photo
 Posted by Mariposa County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, July 16, 2017

UPDATE: The wildfire near Lake McClure in Mariposa County has grown to 15,500 acres, CalFire reported this morning. Containment, listed at zero Monday night, creeped up to 5%.

ORIGINAL STORY: The raging wildfire near Lake McClure in Mariposa County remains at 0% containment and has exploded to 11,000 acres in a little more than 24 hours, Cal Fire reported.

Evacuations are in place for the entirety of Hunters Valley Road, Detwiller Road, Hunter Valley Mountain Access Road, Bears Valley Road between Cotton Creek and Highway 49, and Highway 49 north from Pendola Garden Road to Fremont Fort.

Highway 49 is closed from Pendola Garden Road to the intersection with Highway 132 in Coulterville.

The Red Cross set up an evacuation center at Mariposa Elementary School, located at 5044 Jones Street in Mariposa. Meals and health-related services are offered there, as well as animal shelters.

At least one structure has been claimed by the Detwiler Fire, with another one damaged as the blaze continues to grow.

The fire was first reported shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, and roared to 2,500 acres in a mere five hours. Dry, hot weather, coupled with steep weather, have made firefighting conditions difficult as crews continue to battle the flames, Cal Fire officials said.

The Merced Sun-Star reported Janet Kirkland, 72, who lives in Hunters Valley near the fire’s location, was able to escape with her two dogs.

“I have no idea if my home burned or not,“ she said. “The last fire came into the back of the valley, nowhere close to us, and we were gone three days. This time every fire department from here to LA is on the fire.“

The Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office showed a dramatic video of the flames scorching surrounding roadways. The office asked everyone to avoid the area so the efforts of firefighters will not be impeded.

Air quality throughout the Mountain Area was impacted by the growing fire, forcing the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue a health caution as ash fell on cars and residents throughout the day.

This story will be updated should any significant changes take place into the evening.

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