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Retardant plane over Detwiler Fire - photo courtesy of Al Golub

“Doing The Best We Can With What We’ve Got” On Detwiler Fire

MARIPOSA COUNTY — The Detwiler Fire made a major run today, forcing residents from their homes and prompting the evacuation of the town of Mariposa.

It also challenged fire officials as aircraft were called away to other fires in the region, and there never seemed to be enough resources to get the job done, despite their best efforts.

The fire is now estimated at 25,000 acres with just 5 percent containment. 1,500 structures are threatened and 8 have been destroyed.

There are currently 1,405 personnel assigned to the incident including 217 engines, 26 water tenders, 35 hand crews, 35 dozers, 9 air tankers [when available] and 11 helicopters.

Today, firefighters experienced extreme and aggressive fire behavior with active crowning, short-range spotting and uphill runs.

The communities of Hunters Valley, Bear Valley, Catheys Valley, Mormon Bar, Mariposa, Mt. Bullion, Yaqui Gulch/ Aqua Fria area and Hornitos continue to be threatened.

The public is asked to please respect and heed all evacuations and warnings, and please stay out of the area. Fire conditions change rapidly and the situation is dangerous.

The Incident Command Post (Fire Camp) has outgrown the Mariposa County Fairgrounds, and the majority of the operation was broken down and moved the Merced Fairgrounds today.

Governor Jerry Brown issued a State of Emergency today for the Detwiler Fire area.

Highway 49 is closed at Triangle Road on the south and traffic is being diverted across Triangle to Highway 140 northeast of Mariposa. It is closed on the north at Coulterville.

Highway 140 is closed from Mariposa to Catheys Valley. (See closures and evacuation list below).

Thousands of people have been evacuated, and thousands more are without power. The main power line into Yosemite National Park is reportedly in the path of the fire.

As evacuees head for a safe place to stay, shelters are being opened in several locations.

There is a Red Cross shelter at Caesar Chavez Junior High, 161 S. Plainsburg Road in Planada.

There is also a shelter in Oakhurst at the EV Free Church at the end of School Road in Oakhurst, 50443 Road 427. Over 150 people have come to this shelter, some with small animals, some with suitcases in hand. This evacuation center is now full, so people are being sent to the Oakhurst Presbyterian Church, and another center will be opened at the Oakhurst Community Center.

The Coarsegold Rodeo Grounds is open for large animal evacuations. Call Belinda for more information at 559-676-3702.  Click here for a map.

The Yosemite RV Park just south of Coarsegold is offering a one-acre fenced area that it is normally an off-leash dog park, for smaller animals such as sheep or goats. For more information call 559-683-7855, or 559-676-5046 after 8 p.m.

The most recent evacuations from the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office. Conditions may have changed since this information was provided:

  • Town of Mariposa
  • Highway 140 from East Whitlock to Hwy 49 South both sides of the road.
  • Hornitos Road from Mt. Gaines to Highway 140, including Bear Creek and Whispering Oaks, El Toro Road, McCay Road and Granite Lane
  • CYA Camp Road
  • Morrissey Road
  • Mosher Road
  • West Whitlock Road from Golden Creek Lane to Mosher Road
  • Detwiler Road – ALL Homes
  • Hunters Valley Road – All Homes
  • Hunters Valley Access Road – All Homes
  • Bear Valley Road – Between Hunters Valley and Hunters Valley Access Road (Both sides of Bear Valley Road)
  • Cotton Creek Road – All Homes
  • Bear Valley Road from Cotton Creek Road to Hwy 49N (Both Sides of the Road)
  • Bear Valley Road from Cotton Creek to Exchequer Road- (North Side of the Road only
  • Hwy 49N – Mt. Ophir to Fremont Fort (Monument at the top of the Bagby Grade)- (Both Sides of the road)
  • Pendola Gardens to Old Toll Road
  • Mount Bullion Ridge Road from Highway 49N to CYA Road
  • Old Toll Road between Corbett Creek Road and Highway 49N, including Corbett Creek Road
  • Mount Gains Road to No.9 Road including No.9 Road
  • Highway 49N from Mount Bullion Ridge Road (Fremont Fort) to old Toll Road
  • Pendola Gardens Road from Highway 49N to Old Toll Road
  • Highway 49N from Old Toll Road to Agua Fria Road
  • Area known as Mount Bullion
  • Mount Bullion Cut off Road and Agua Fria Road from Highway 49N to Highway 140
  • Buckeye Road to Ben Bur Road, and Ben Hur Road to Highway 49S
  • Old Highway from Yaqui Gulch to Highway 49S and all feeder roads including Mormon Bar area
  • Highway 140 from the Town of Mariposa to Yaqui Gulch including and all feeder roads
  • Schilling Road to Dogtown Road
  • Dogtown Road from Schilling Road to Texas Hill Road and all of Texas Hill Road
  • Highway 49N from Schillings Road to Highway 132 and all side roads
  • Main Street Coulterville from Highway 49N to Dogtown Road and all side roads south of Main Street
  • Dogtown Road from Greeley Hill Road to Texas Hill Road
  • Colorado Road from East Whitlock Road to Rancheria Creek Road and all feeder roads
  • Rancheria Creek Road
  • All of Sherlock Road
  • All of Telegraph Road

Evacuation advisories for the Detwiler Fire have now been expanded to include the following areas:

  • All of the Coulterville and Greeley HIll area
  • Highway 49S from Ben Hur Road to Indian Peak Road – including all feeder roads
  • Ashworth to Silver Lane including all feeder roads
  • Silver Bar to Ashworth including all feeder roads
  • Indian Peak to Oak Grove Road including all feeder roads
  • Oak Grove Road from Miwak Road to Oak Grove School Road including all feeder roads
  • Allred Road from Highway 49S to Morningstar Lane including all feeder roads
  • Morningstar Lane to Carlton Road including all feeder roads
  • Carlton Road to Silva Road including all feeder roads
  • Silva Road to Highway 49S including all feeder roads

An Evacuation Advisory is an alert to the public of potential evacuation orders.

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