Fast growing wildfire in central California forces evacuations

LOS ANGELES — A wildfire in Mariposa County in the US state of California nearly tripled in size Monday overnight, forcing residents living nearby to evade, local fire protection agency Cal Fire reported.

The blaze, coded “Detwiller fire,” started just at 3:56 p.m. (2356 GMT) on Sunday, 2 miles (3.2 km) east of Lake McClure in Mariposa County, which is 460 km north of Los Angeles, according to Cal Fire.

The latest update on Cal Fire’s website shows that the fire is burning an area of 11,000 acres (44.5 square km) and no significant containment has been completed.

The fire destroyed one structure, damaged another and crept closer to residential neighborhoods. Mariposa County’s officials have ordered evacuations for all homes on three roads since Sunday.

Smoke from the fire can be seen throughout the region, spreading to adjacent Stanislaus County.

The natural terrain where the Detwiller Fire is burning has been creating challenges for fire crews assigned to the incident, Cal Fire spokesperson Jamie Williams said, adding: “Firefighting efforts have been hampered due to the steep terrain…it’s really rocky and extremely brushy.”

There was going to be a larger, regional, outside fire team coming to take over operations later Monday, while air and ground resources continued to arrive, Williams said.