The raging blaze that forced thousands from their homes in Mariposa yesterday has continued to spread its wrath, nearly doubling in size overnight to more than 45,700 acres, Cal Fire reported Wednesday morning.
Additionally, mandatory evacuations were ordered in the town of Coulterville as a 5,000-acre spot fire spread to the north of Mariposa, near the intersection of highways 49 and 132.
“It’s already a bad morning,” one firefighter said over a scanner.
The Detwiler Fire has grown to 45,724 acres and is only 7% contained. That is an increase of more than 20,000 acres and only 2% in containment from reports Tuesday night.
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At least 2,208 personnel are assigned to the blaze, with 217 engines, 35 crews, 11 helicopters, 9 air tankers, 35 bulldozers, and 26 water tenders.
Some 5,000 people were forced to leave their homes behind on Tuesday when mandatory evacuations were placed on numerous areas of Mariposa County, including the main town of Mariposa. Click here for more details.
The fire continues to grow to both the north and south from where it started July 16, shortly east of Lake McClure, which is located northwest of Mariposa.
At least eight structures have been destroyed and 1,500 remain threatened by the fast-moving inferno, Cal Fire reported.
Fortunately, the town itself hasn’t been damaged, according to reports.
For a full list of evacuated areas and road closures, including extensive portions of highways 49 and 140 in the Mariposa area, click here.
The entrance to Yosemite National Park via Highway 140 was closed Tuesday. The park can still be accessed through Highway 41 in Oakhurst.
Evacuation shelters were established at Caesar Chavez Junior High, 161 S. Plainsburg Road in Planada. at the Evangelical Free Church, 50443 School Road (427), the Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church, 39696 Highway 41, and Mountain Christian Center, 40299 Highway 49, all in Oakhurst, and at Groveland Community Hall, 18720 Highway 120 in Groveland.
The Red Cross of the Central Valley can be reached 24 hours a day on a special disaster line at (559) 343-2549 for assistance in evacuating.
Continuous power outages have been reported in the Bear Valley area due to downed power lines. Electricity was briefly affected in Yosemite National Park as a result.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
A state of emergency was declared by Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday, where he said the California National Guard will be mobilized to assist as necessary in the fire. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, also authorized additional funding to help fight the blaze.