Thousands of firefighters battle California blaze, now at 48K acres

July 20 (UPI) — More than 3,000 firefighters are now battling the Detwiler Fire near California’s Yosemite National Park, officials said.

Cal Fire late Wednesday that more than 48,000 acres have burned so far and that the blaze, which started Sunday and spread quickly, remains only 7 percent contained.

“Firefighters faced high temperatures along with dry and drought stressed chaparral and grass. Steep and inaccessible terrain continues to challenge control lines. The fire encroaches on culturally and historically sensitive areas,” a Cal Fire statement said.

Cal Fire said 3,175 fire fighters, 413 fire engines, 9 air tankers and 14 helicopters are trying to extinguish the fire — which is currently among 37 active large fires in a dozen western U.S. states, the national integrated Fire center said.

Several structures have been destroyed, with hundreds more threatened, and the fire is endangering power lines leading to Yosemite National Park, officials added.

Earlier Wednesday, the town of Mariposa was evacuated — an order that extended to the towns of Coulterville and Greeley Hill by the end of the day. At least 5,000 people have been ordered to leave so far.

High temperatures and dry shrubbery in the area are inhibiting firefighting efforts.


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