Homes evacuated in Mariposa County as 1,300-acre Hunter fire spreads

Bee staff and news servicesMay 26, 2014 

DEBBIE NODA — MERCED SUN-STAR

A fast-moving brush fire in Mariposa County has charred more than 1,300 acres and triggered evacuations near Lake McClure, officials said Tuesday morning.

Evacuations began Monday night in the Hunters Valley area. About 30-35 homes in the Bear Valley area have been evacuated and roads have been closed, officials said. At 2:45 p.m., Cal Fire reported the blaze was 20% contained.

The fire started around 3:30 p.m. Monday near Hunters Valley Access Road in the Bear Valley area. The blaze has been dubbed the Hunters fire because of its proximity to Hunters Valley Road, located east of Lake McClure.

Evacuations began around 8 p.m. Monday in the Hunters Valley area. Hunters Valley Road is closed at Bear Valley Road and Cotton Creek Road at Bear Valley Road. The evacuation center is at 2820 Highway 140.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said roughly 100 residences were threatened. One was destroyed.

A Red Cross shelter was being set up Monday night at McKay Hall in Catheys Valley. The American Red Cross said they expected to assist about 40 families.

Fresno Fire Department reported in a tweet Tuesday that an engine and crew was being sent to the fire.

So far, four firefighters have been injured on the Hunters fire, the Merced-Mariposa-Madera Counties Cal Fire unit reported. Two of those injuries were firefighters who suffered general weakness, and another firefighter suffered an ankle injury. The fourth injury was an inmate who cut his arm.

Smoke was visible into Stanislaus County, near Turlock Lake.

Air tankers were called in to assist ground crews in fighting the blaze.

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