Detwiler Fire evacuates City of Mariposa, state of emergency declared

Hundreds of SD firefighters deploy to CA wildfires
Detwiler Fire evacuates City of Mariposa
Detwiler Fire evacuates City of Mariposa
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-20 13:46:36-04

(KGTV) - Gov. Jerry Brown issued a state of emergency as an aggressive wildfire in Mariposa County continued to burn tens of thousands of acres.

Brown declared the emergency Tuesday as the Detwiler Fire raged for its second day in the mountains just outside Yosemite National Park and sent thousands fleeing as evacuation orders were given.

The fire, which began late Sunday, has grown to about 70,000 acres and destroyed at least 45 structures, with about 1,500 structures threatened. Per Cal Fire, the blaze is 10 percent contained as of Thursday morning.

Cal Fire said more than 3,100 fire personnel were battling the blaze, including a strike team and two battalion chiefs deployed Tuesday from Rancho Santa Fe Fire and three engines from San Diego Fire-Rescue that were deployed Wednesday.

PHOTOS: Detwiler Fire scorchees thousands of acres

"Today we sent three of the five engines making up Metro Zone Type 1 structure engine strike team," San Diego Fire-Rescue chief Brian Fennessy said. "While our department and many other fire agencies within the region have resources assigned to fires north of our city, San Diegan's [sic] can rest assured that the level of emergency service in our communities remains constant and that if a significant fire(s) were to occur in the region which taxes the remaining local resources, the mutual aid system will be available to assist us in our time of need." 

At least 400 engines, 56 different crews, at least nine air tankers, 14 helicopters, and 57 water tenders were fighting the Detwiler Fire.

Although it's unknown exactly how many San Diego firefighters were sent north to specifically fight the Detwiler Fire, 10News learned Wednesday 275 total fire personnel from San Diego County are currently deployed to battle 17 fires statewide.

San Diego Cal Fire alone has sent 17 engines and 181 firefighters. The agency has canceled days off for all of its firefighters and it's in the process of calling in extra personnel to staff local fire stations. 

Ninety-four firefighters and 29 engines from other local fire agencies are also battling California wildfires.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the City of Mariposa, as well as from

  • Mount Bullion Ridge Road from Highway 49N to CYA Road
  • Old Toll Road between Corbett Creek Road and Highway 49N, including Corbert Creek Road.
  • Mount Gains Road to No.9 Road including No.9 Road
  • Mount Bullion Cut off Road and Agua Fria Road from Highway 49N to Highway 140
  • Highway 49N to Baxby Bridge to Agua Fria Road
  • The area known as Mount Bullion
  • Highway 49N from Mount Bullion Ridge Road to Old Toll Road
  • Pendola Garden Road from Highway 49N to Old Toll Road (Exit via Old Toll Road only)

Cal Fire said crews are also facing unfavorable weather conditions and aggressive movement by the fire.