MARIPOSA COUNTY — Just as things were winding down on the Ben Fire which burned 630 acres in the Mormon Bar area, another fire broke out just northeast of that location, and activity at the Incident Command Post at the Mariposa County Fairground shifted into high gear again.
The Spring Fire was reported at 1:45 p.m. today, and is now estimated at 225 acres with 10 percent containment. Forward progress has been stopped.
Resources continue to arrive at the ICP, and firefighters will work throughout the night.
There are currently 33 engines, 14 crews, 5 dozers, 4 water tenders, 3 helicopters and 6 air tankers assigned to the incident.
The fire started on the south side of Highway 49, and spread quickly northward, jumping the highway and prompting the evacuations of dozens of homes on Allred and Ashworth Roads and the surrounding area.
Highway 49 was shut down from Silva Road to Varain Road just before 3 p.m. after the fire jumped the road, creating dense smoke and endangering both the public and the crews working to stop the spread.
According to CHP reports, the road will remain closed throughout the night, with an ETA to reopen at 10 a.m. Monday.
Motorists are reportedly being allowed to use Darrah and Triangle as a detour.
The Sheriff’s Office notified residents in the path of the fire of a mandatory evacuation:
- Ching Road to Silva Road
- Allred Road to Morning Star Road
- Ashworth Road to Old Oak Lane
- Grist all the way to Old Oak Lane
At 4:35 p.m., the fire crossed Allred Road to the east and evacuations were ordered:
- Silva Road to Carlton Road, both sides,
- Carlton To Morning Star, west side only,
- All of Morning Star
An advisory has been sent out to residents of Indian Peak to be prepared to evacuate if necessary.
A Red Cross evacuation center has been set up at Woodland Elementary School, located at 3394 Woodland Drive.
Volunteers are on hand to provide water, snacks, information and comfort. If necessary, the Red Cross is prepared to transition to an overnight shelter, offering affected residents lodging, meals, health services and more.
The Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone to please remember fire is always a FAST moving incident, conditions can change every minute.
“If you are in the fire area and do not feel safe, please evacuate. Do not wait for evacuation orders. If you need assistance getting out of your home for medical or animal issues please contact our office at 209-966-3615. Please do not call in friends or family to help, this just clogs the roads for emergency traffic.”
We will update as conditions change.