The Detwiler fire near Lake McClure again nearly doubled overnight while nearly 1,000 firefighters scrambled to save hundreds of endangered homes.
Calfire reported the 15,500-acre fire to be 5 percent contained Tuesday morning, forcing additional road closures and evacuations.
Nearly 800 firefighters from all over the state are battling the blaze with fire engines, water tenders, air tankers, helicopters and bulldozers, including crews from Merced and neighboring communities.
“The communities of Hunters Valley, Bear Valley and Hornitos continue to be threatened as the fire encroaches on culturally and historically sensitive areas,” according to a Calfire update.
Residents living along Hunters Valley Road, Bear Valley Road, Pendola Garden Road, Mt. Bullion Road and more were ordered to evacuate, and others were advised to evacuate as well.
Hot, dry weather conditions coupled with steep terrain and dense brush made stamping out the fire difficult for crews, Calfire reported.
Flames erupted around 4 p.m. Sunday and burned out of control for hours, consuming more than 7,000 acres of brush near Detwiler Road and Hunters Valley in less than 24 hours. The total double again overnight into Tuesday.
The fire also has dumped ash and thick smoke into the Valley air, causing health officials to caution residents to remain indoors if they see smoke or ash in the air.
A community meeting about fire information and resources for those evacuated has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Mariposa High School auditorium, 5074 Old Highway North.