Central California Blaze Exceeds 1,300 Acres

May 28, 2014

Firefighters worked to fight a Central California foothills fire late Tuesday, attacking a blaze that had grown to 1,300 acres in two days.

Officials urged some residents east of Lake McClure in Mariposa County to leave their homes, as fire crews work to tamp down the flames before they grow too large to handle.

In an extreme dry year like this, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said, they are attacking it from all angles.

“We’re fighting this fire not only on the ground but also in the air, helping to slow this thing down,” Berlant said.

wildfireThe Hunters Fire ignited Monday afternoon and destroyed three buildings as it spread to the dry brush in steep foothills. Crews had difficulty reaching it, and on Tuesday temperatures rose into the 90s with winds up to 20 mph, adding to the challenge of an already dry year.

More than 670 firefighters on the ground had the fire 20 percent contained, Berlant said. The cause remained under investigation.

In its third dry year, California has already had 1,700 wildfires in 2014, said Berlant, who compared that with the 900 by this time last year.

“The drought has let fires like this burn at a much more intense and active rate than we would typically see,” he said.

Up to 100 homes are potentially threatened, but the Mariposa County Sheriff’s Office notified about 50 residents in immediate danger, urging them to evacuate.

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