Detwiler Fire evening update: 25,000 acres burned as thousands flee from Mariposa

The Detwiler Fire has burned 25,000 acres and remains only 5% contained, Cal Fire reported in an update at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, during a day where the blaze pushed hard to the south and forced the evacuation of the entire town of Mariposa.

The list of evacuated areas is extensive, including but not limited to:

☆ Town of Mariposa;

☆ Mount Bullion area;

☆ Mount Bullion Ridge Road, from Highway 49 north to CYA Road;

☆ Old Toll Road between Corbett Creek and Highway 49 north, including Corbett Creek Road; Mount Gains Road to No. 9 Road;

☆ Mount Bullion Cutoff Road to Agua Fria Road from Highway 49 north to Highway 140; Highway 49 north to Baxby Ridge Road to Agua Fria Road;

☆ Highway 49 north from Mount Bullion Ridge Road to Old Toll Road;

☆ Pendola Garden Road form Highway 49 north to Old Toll Road;

☆ Most of the Midpines area, down to Briceburg.

For a complete list from Cal Fire of evacuations and road closures, including many parts of Highway 49 and 140 in the Mariposa area, alongside all evacuated areas, click here.

The Red Cross moved an evacuation shelter from a Mariposa location to Caesar Chavez Junior High at 161 S. Plainsburg Road in Planada. Three more shelters were set up in Oakhurst - at the Evangelical Free Church, 50443 School Road (427), the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39696 Highway 41, and Mountain Christian Center, 40299 Highway 49.

Another shelter was also opened at the Groveland Community Hall, 18720 Highway 120. Jessica Piffero, spokeswoman with the Red Cross, said at least two shelters, which have a maximum capacity of 125 people, have already filled.

The Red Cross of the Central Valley can be reached 24 hours a day on a special disaster line at (559) 343-2549 for all information relating to evacuations from the Detwiler Fire, Pifferso said.

Meals, health services, and animal shelters are provided at the shelter locations through assistance by the Central California Animal Disaster Team.

Anyone with large animals can also call Belinda at the Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds, where an evacuation shelter has been established, by dialing (559) 676-3702.

At least eight structures have been destroyed, and one damaged, with 1,500 still under threat, Cal Fire reported.

At least 1,405 personnel are fighting the blaze, up from the 780 at work for most of Tuesday. The latest engine count is 217, followed by 35 fire crews, nine air tankers, 11 helicopters, 35 bulldozers, and 26 water tenders.

Cal Fire reported that Tuesday was a day marked by “extreme and aggressive fire behavior” with numerous short-range spotting and runs uphill as the inferno, which began Sunday two miles east of Lake McClure northwest of Mariposa, roared to the southeast, directly towards the town.

Conditions became so dangerous Tuesday that, shortly after the clock struck noon, the entire town of Mariposa was placed under mandatory evacuations, including at least nine hotels or inns in the affected area.

For complete details on Tuesday’s events, click here or here.

For live video of the evacuation in Mariposa, with details, visit www.facebook.com/TheSierraStar.

At least two Facebook groups have been set up for members to discuss how they can help evacuated residents and their pets, as well as how to make donations to the Red Cross. Click here for that story.

Cal Fire’s Madera-Mariposa-Merced Unit provides a 24-hour fire information line, with a live volunteer, by dialing 1-844-MMU-FIRE (1-844-668-3473).

For an interactive map of the fire’s perimeter and where it is spreading, courtesy of Joseph Elfelt at mappingsupport.com, click here.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Management Agency, or FEMA, authorized the use of federal funds to assist in trying to save Mariposa shortly after it was placed under evacuation. A short time later, Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Mariposa County as the fire continued to approach the historic city.

Jake Gorba, affiliated with Our Heroes Dreams, is reaching out to anyone in the Mariposa area who need assistance evacuating. They can contact him at (559) 760-8849. If that line doesn’t work, a second is available with Jon Cook at (559) 801-8137.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Related stories from The Sierra Star