RAYMOND — As firefighters were busy fighting the nearly week-old Ferguson Fire burning west of Yosemite National Park in Mariposa County, reports came in early this afternoon of another fire starting north of Eastman Lake near Raymond.
At approximately 1 p.m., crews were called out to reports of a vegetation fire burning in the Mormon Bar area.
The first engine at scene reported the fire at 5 – 7 acres, burning in steep and rocky terrain. Additional resources were dispatched and Air Attack, air tankers and helicopters were soon hitting the fire hard, along with engines, dozers and crews from Cal Fire, Mariposa County Fire and the Sierra National Forest.
Air resources focused on protecting the one structure immediately threatened. Helicopters were aided by the proximity of numerous ponds in the area.
By 1:45 p.m., the fire was reported at 30 – 40 acres, and by 2:30 p.m., Air Attack estimated it at nearly 50.
By 3 p.m., the forward progress of the fire was stopped, and the new estimated size of the fire was 40 acres.
Just after 3:30 p.m., all air resources were recommended to be released except one helicopter.
As of 7 a.m. Friday, July 20, the Ben Fire was 60 percent contained at 40 acres.
The Ben Fire was 100 percent contained as of Friday, July 20.
We will update here as conditions develop.