Despite Thursday afternoon spot fire, firefighters continue to slow growth of the Detwiler Fire

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The Detwiler Fire continued its trend of a slow rate of growth Thursday as firefighters work towards bringing it under complete containment.

In a Thursday evening update, Cal Fire reported the blaze grew by 300 acres throughout the day, to a total of 81,550. The fire remained 75% contained.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, with an expected containment date of Aug. 5. Fire information officials estimated the cost of fighting the Detwiler Fire at more than $45.2 million so far, with a projected final cost of $60 million.

Some 3,700 personnel remain assigned to the Detwiler Fire, alongside 277 engines, 12 helicopters, air tankers, 94 hand crews, 35 bulldozers, and 52 water tenders.

In the afternoon, air and ground resources were diverted to a new spot fire, dubbed the Hunter Fire, that started around 11:30 a.m. in the Hunters Valley area near Detwiler and Cotton Creek roads, similar to the origins of the Detwiler Fire. Click here for that story.

Many areas remain under evacuation advisories. Click here for the full list from Cal Fire as to what areas are still affected by the inferno.

A website called “Mariposa County Recovers” has been set up, with a full directory of resources and alerts available to the public, including those affected by the Detwiler Fire. Visit that site at www.mariposacountyrecovers.org.

Alleged gear thief caught in Stockton

Also Thursday, the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office, with assistance from the Stockton California Highway Patrol, announced that at least one suspect was arrested for allegedly stealing firefighting equipment from engines parked at hotels in Merced.

Tyler Allen Huggins-Boyle, 30 of Stockton, was put behind bars without bail for allegedly stealing $25,000 worth of gear from three firefighting strike teams all assigned to the Detwiler Fire. Charges against him included felony possession of a firearm, felony vehicle theft, misdemeanor obstruction or resisting of a peace officer, and possession of narcotics with intention to sell.

According to his Facebook page, Huggins-Boyle was working with the company Firestorm Wildland Fire Suppression, Inc., a business made up of fire and land management crews that assist in emergencies, including the Detwiler Fire.

Click here for more details.