Someone who fired a gun is to blame for triggering the Detwiler Fire, which has destroyed dozens of homes and burned more than 80,000 acres in Mariposa County, CalFire officials said.
It’s the second time in less than 10 years that gun fire has been linked to a disastrous fire in near Mariposa.
As of Thursday, the last posted update, the fire was 97 percent contained. Flames broke out July 16 and eventually destroyed 131 structures, including 67 homes. Amid record-breaking heat in the Valley, 1,635 fire personnel battled the blaze.
It was not the first time someone using a gun had caused a fire near Mariposa.
In August 2008, 30 homes near Mariposa were destroyed in the Telgraph fire caused by target shooting. Davin Craig Mosher of Merced was convicted of starting the 34,000-acre fire and was sentenced to three years of summary probation and 60 hours of community service. He expressed remorse for the blaze, which started July 25 in a Bureau of Land Management area near the Merced River when a steel-jacketed bullet fired by Mosher hit a rock and sparked flames.
At the time of Mosher’s sentencing, then Mariposa District Attorney Robert Brown gave this admonition: “I hope people will learn from this and recognize that there is a danger from shooting out in the wild during fire season,” he said. “You take a chance if you go out and shoot during fire seaon and this could be the possible result.”
Anyone with information regarding the person or persons responsible for the Detwiler fire can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 559-498-7867.
A $2,000 reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest and conviction.