MARIPOSA COUNTY — A vegetation fire burning near Lake McClure is threatening structures and stretching fire resources thin.
The fire was reported just before 4 p.m. today on Hunters Valley Road at Detwiler Road, and by 4:15 was reported at 25 – 50 acres. It has now grown to an estimated 1,000 acres.
A full wildland dispatch was called up immediately, and the Incident Commander (IC) then requested two additional helicopters, two more air tankers, eight Type 3 engines and two more ground crews.
By 4:30 p.m., PCF (Volunteer) stations were called to staff their engines. The IC told the Emergency Command Center that this would be a extended incident, and said he needed the nearest resources available, ordering up 10 more Cal Fire engines, 6 ground crews, 5 dozers and 5 water tenders.
One VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) has been over the fire, but is returning to Nevada. No other VLATs are available; all are committed to other incidents.
At 6:10 p.m., the fire reached the top of the ridge on Hunters Valley Access Road, jumped the road and is reported to be spotting out ahead. The fire is now being declared a “major incident.”
Resources continue to arrive from Fresno, Tuolumne, Calaveras, Madera and surrounding counties and Cal Fire Units.
Mandatory evacuations for all homes have been ordered along Detwiler Road, Hunters Valley Road, and Hunters Valley Access Road. At 6:35 p.m., evacuations were ordered on both sides of Bear Valley Road between Hunters Valley and Hunters Valley Access Road.
Hunters Valley Road is closed at Bear Valley Road, and Hunters Valley Access Road is also closed at Bear Valley Road.
Bear Valley Road is closed between Hunters Valley Road and Hunters Valley Access Road.
At 6:42 p.m., it was reported that the fire is now well-established on the east side of Hunters Valley Access Road, and the IC requested six additional dozers.
At 7:55 p.m., the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office announced the evacuation and closure of Cotton Creek Road.
A Red Cross Evacuation Shelter has been set up at McCay Hall, 2820 Highway 140 in Catheys Valley.
This is the second vegetation fire today on the north end of Mariposa County.