On Sunday night, a wildfire broke out about two miles east of Lake McClure in Mariposa county. The fire, named the Dewiler Fire by firefighters, grew by 4,100 acres through the night and into monday afternoon. Currently, the fire is estimated to have consumed over 70,000 acres and only 15% has been contained. Firefighters estimate that the fire threatens 1,500 structures, evacuations of residents living in this vacinity were ordered. So far at least 50 structures have been destroyed.
Although, the fire began near Lake McClure it is getting increasingly closer to the town of Mariposa. About 5,000 people were evacuated from the town of Mariposa and surrounding areas Tuesday. The flames jumped the Merced River, continuing to spread. About 1,400 fire personnel are actively working to control the fire and the Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency Tuesday afternoon and mobilized the California National Guard to help with disaster response and relief.
“Firefighters on the ground as well as aircraft are actively working to contain and suppress the fire,” Cal Fire reported.
The fire has affected air quality and the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District has issued an Air Quality alert for the counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Tulare, and Kern.
Ash particles from the fire was falling in Merced Tuesday. Anthony Presto, a Merced-area spokesman for San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District advices, “If you see smoke or ash, you should try to remain indoors”
Stay safe, Bobcats.
Photo Credit: Merced Sunstar- Brianna Calix