California Wildfire Spreads Rapidly Near Yosemite

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Several towns in Mariposa County are under evacuation orders as officials struggle to contain the rapidly moving fire, named the Detwiler fire after its origin near Detwiler Road. The blazes in California's Sierra Nevada foothills threatens thousands of homes and historic buildings, including an 1854 wooden courthouse at Mariposa, a Gold Rush-era hamlet.

The fire is 15 percent contained.

The fire burned 12 acres in the Auburn area.

Cal Fire Incident Management Team 4, the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office, and additional cooperating agencies on the Detwiler Fire will be hosting a community meeting in Mariposa tonight, July 22, at 7 the Mariposa County High School Auditorium, 5074 Old Highway N in Mariposa.

Carol Dewey, who owns a small bed and breakfast in downtown Mariposa, was one of a few business owners allowed to return to check on their shops in the town under mandatory evacuation.

The fire did not grow as significantly Thursday as it had earlier in the week, but state fire officials revealed late in the day that 99 structures have now been destroyed, 50 of them homes.

More than 3,800 fire personnel have been assigned to the fire.

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The cause of the fire has not been determined. Now, they stand empty as firefighters try to keep the flames away from the town of 2,000 residents.

As the Sacramento Bee reports, however, there have been 100 new wildfires reported just in the last four days alone, which including the Detwiler Fire have burned around 200,000 acres.

The remains of a home just outside the town of Mariposa. "The imminent threat to Mariposa is over", Motta said, but added that crews will continue to maintain that line.

The blaze came within 35 miles (56 kilometers) of Yosemite, where campgrounds were open, park spokesman Scott Gediman said. The park remained open to visitors on Thursday.

The last big wildfire to affect Yosemite National Park was the Rim Fire in August 2013, which became the third-largest wildfire in California's history at the time.

Record rain and snowfall in the mountains this winter abruptly ended California's five-year drought. But the dense vegetation that has sprouted from the rains has increased the challenge for fire crews. Jerry Brown, the Californian governor, declared an emergency.