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‘Ben’ Fire Now 55% Contained; Evacuation Order Lifted

MARIPOSA COUNTY — The Ben Fire south of Mariposa has charred 48 acres and is 55 percent contained, according to the latest update from CAL FIRE, issued at 7 a.m. Thursday.The fire started Wednesday afternoon off Ben Hur and Buckeye roads, prompting a mandatory evacuation for residents with odd number addresses on Ben Hur Road from Green Hills to Silver ...

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‘Power’ Fire Now 80% Contained; Mop Up Continues

NORTH FORK — Firefighters now have the upper hand on a vegetation fire that sparked late Saturday afternoon near Kerckhoff and Reddinger lakes.According to the latest update from CAL FIRE, the blaze is now 80 percent contained. “Firefighters continue to improve control lines and mop up,” Tuesday’s update stated.Dubbed the Power Fire because it started along Powerhouse Road, the blaze ...

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‘Power’ Fire 30% Contained; Evacuation Order Lifted

NORTH FORK — A fast-moving vegetation fire that sparked late Saturday afternoon south of North Fork near Reddinger Lake was about 30 percent contained Sunday evening, according to CAL FIRE. Dubbed the Power Fire, the blaze has scorched about 108 acres and destroyed several structures as it moves toward Corrine Lake Road. Four firefighters have been hurt battling the blaze ...

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Crews Douse Vegetation Fire North of Coarsegold

COARSEGOLD — Local CAL FIRE crews mobilized Monday afternoon to fight a vegetation fire that sparked in the hills just off Highway 41 at Morava Road.An air tanker and helicopter were also used to extinguish the brush fire before it could threaten any structures. Madera County Fire Chief Matt Watson estimated Monday’s blaze at about 10 acres. “We’ve got the ...

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Judge Approves PG&E’s $58 Billion Bankruptcy Settlement Plan

SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge on Friday OK’d a $58 billion plan by the nation’s largest utility to reemerge from 18 months of bankruptcy protection that began after Pacific Gas & Electric’s outdated equipment sparked California wildfires that killed more than 100 people, wiped out entire towns — and led the company’s leaders to plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter ...

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PG&E Pleads Guilty to 84 Deaths Stemming from 2018 Camp Fire

BUTTE COUNTY — PG&E pleaded guilty Tuesday to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter and one count of unlawfully sparking the Camp Fire. The deadliest blaze in California’s history, the Camp Fire burned for 17 days in November 2018, scorching more than 150,000 acres, destroying of the town of Paradise and killing 85 people.As part of Tuesday’s court proceeding, which took ...

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Hunters Fire in Mariposa County No Longer Active

MARIPOSA COUNTY — The Hunters Fire, which sparked late Sunday, was more than 95 percent contained as of 7 a.m. Wednesday, according to the latest update from CAL FIRE, which has since removed the fire from the agency’s “active incident” list. The fast-moving brush fire scorched about 85 acres near Lake McClure west of Briceburg, reportedly starting in an area ...

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Yosemite National Park Officials Declare ‘Stage 2’ Fire Restrictions

YOSEMITE — Citing “high fire danger” and “enhanced risk to the public, employees and first responders” during the COVID-19 pandemic, Yosemite National Park is enacting park-wide fire restrictions “to reduce the threat of human-caused wildfires,” stated a press release issued late this week by park officials.Yosemite begins its “phased” reopening today (June 5), allowing access to the Yosemite Wilderness to ...

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After COVID Pause, Forest Service ‘Moving Forward’ with Prescribed Burn Operations

MOUNTAIN COMMUNITIES — After a temporary halt prompted by COVID-19, the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Region is “moving forward with prescribed fire operations as conditions and resources permit,” according to a press release issued Friday by the agency.Previously, the region had postponed prescribed fires to reduce potential smoke impacts to communities while public health officials considered the interactions of smoke ...

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Supervisors Postpone Debate of Ballot Measure to Hike TOT

MADERA — At their regular meeting today (March 10), the Madera County Board of Supervisors postponed a discussion about a potential ballot measure to hike the County’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) rate. Supervisors have been considering asking voters to approve the TOT hike as a means to fund stepped up wildfire prevention efforts within eastern Madera County. But at Tuesday’s ...

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