Hunters Fire nearly doubles in size overnight, 20 percent contained

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) - State fire officials have brought in hundreds of additional firefighters to battle a Central California blaze that is threatening about 100 rural homes.

The fire burning in foothills near Lake McClure in Mariposa County nearly doubled in size overnight to 1,300 acres and was 20 percent contained, as of 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Cal Fire reported that 100 homes were threatened and two abandoned residences and an outbuilding were destroyed. Evacuations are in effect for Hunters Valley Road to Bear Valley Road, including the Hunters Valley Access Road and Detwiler. The center of the evacuation is at 2820 Highway 140, Cathy's Valley and McKay Hall.

Cal Fire spokesperson Daniel Berlant said 671firefighters were battling the Hunters Fire on Tuesday, up from 100 firefighters when the blaze began a day earlier. Berlant said steep terrain and dry brush are making it difficult for crews to get a handle on the blaze.

Five firefighters were injured while fighting the fire, Berlant said. One of the five is an inmate firefighter who was cut by a chain saw. Berlant described the injury as moderate. He said the other four firefighters suffered minor injuries.

Air tankers and helicopters are being used to attack the flames from above.

Temperatures are also high and are expected to be in the 90s on Tuesday. Berlant says the conditions are similar to what firefighters would encounter during the summer.

The cause of the fire is investigation.


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