'Please Stay Out': Wildfire scorches 7100 acres in Central Valley, triggering evacuations

A growing wildfire in the U.S. state of California has forced thousands of residents of the small town of Mariposa to evacuate.

The Detwiler fire is threatening to destroy 1,500 structures.

According to Cal-Fire, eight buildings have been destroyed, one structure was damaged.

A Central California wildfire has doubled in size - to more than 45,000 acres - and still barely has any containment, fire officials said Wednesday.

Firefighters are facing "extreme and aggressive fire behavior" with solid walls of flame and sparks from the main blaze setting spot fires in grasslands, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

Tall grass from the winter rain has helped to fuel the fire.

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Highway 140 was closed in the Mariposa area and traffic along Highway 149, and southbound and northbound routes of Highway 49 will be impacted by road closures.

The Tower and Grade fires on the Cuesta Grade and the Hill Fire east of Santa Margarita were all started by cars. According to officials, the fire is getting dangerously close to electrical lines that supply power to Yosemite and its facilities.

Mandatory evacuations are still in place after a raging fire continues to burn near Yosemite National Park, threatening almost 5,000 structures.

Earlier this month, wildfires engulfed western USA and parts of Canada, destroying homes and forcing thousands of residents to flee.

As of June 25, more than 2,135 fires were reported in California this year. The fire jumped over Highway 140 on Tuesday, causing it to close nearly nine miles east of the Merced/Mariposa County lines. "A lot of us have come from other incidents", said Jerry Fernandez with Cal-Fire.


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