Mariposa ordered to evacuate as fire spreads
Firefighters continued their battle overnight to try and tame a raging inferno about two miles east of Lake McClure in Mariposa County, which grew to 15,500 acres and 5% containment early Tuesday.
A community meeting was planned for 6 p.m. Tuesday in the auditorium at Mariposa County High School, 5074 Old Highway North, to discuss the efforts of firefighting personnel to control the flames.
The fire jumped Highway 49 and columns of smoke from the fire are visible as far away as Fresno.
The Detwiler Fire, located in the area of Detwiller and Hunters Valley roads, has forced a host of evacuations around the Mariposa area as 780 firefighting personnel with 100 engines, 22 crews, 14 aircraft, five bulldozers and four water tenders are assigned to the blaze. Evacuations so far have been ordered on:
☆ Hunters Valley Road
☆ Hunter Valley Mt. Access Road
☆ Bear Valley Road to Exchequer Road
☆ Highway 49 to Pendola Garden Road
☆ Pendola Garden Road to Old Toll Road
☆ Mt. Bullion Road from Highway 49 north to CYA Road
☆ Old Toll Road, between Corbett Creek Road and Highway 49
☆ Mt. Gains Road to No. 9 Road
☆ Highway 140 near Agua Fria Road
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 shelter for animals through assistance by the Central California Animal Disaster Team.
Highway 49 north is closed from Pendola Garden Road to the intersection with Highway 132 in Coulterville, with limited access for residents. Highway 140 has also been closed at Agua Fria Road, after the fire jumped across the roadway around 11:15 a.m. All roads under evacuation are also closed.
In a morning update, Cal Fire reported unfavorable weather conditions, combined with “ample fuel” such as tall brush and dying trees, as well as steep, rocky terrain has made it difficult for firefighters to get a handle on the growing flames.
The Mariposa-Yosemite Airport was closed Tuesday morning, and air operations were moved to Merced Regional Airport and Castle Air Force Base.
The Detwiler Fire began shortly before 4 p.m. Sunday, growing to 11,000 acres in a little more than 24 hours.
Air quality throughout the Mountain Area has been impacted by the growing fire, forcing the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District to issue a health caution as ash continues to fall from the sky.
At least one structure has been destroyed, and another damaged, with 300 threatened by the blaze as it continues to grow.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
The interactive map below, created by reader Joseph Elfelt through his website mappingsupport.com, details the fire’s perimeter and areas of attack.