Massive blaze threatens Gold Rush-era town near Yosemite

Posted July 23, 2017

California's Governor declared an emergency Tuesday as wildfires put hundreds of homes at risk.

Additionally, there was no increase in the number of destroyed or damaged structures.

At total of 5,000 residents in the small communities on the edge of Yosemite National Park have been evacuated since the fire began on Sunday.

Thirteen homes have been damaged, with 70 minor structures either damaged or destroyed, and 1,500 still under threat, Cal Fire noted.

Mariposa is 50 miles outside Yosemite National Park and largely dependent on tourism.

Evacuation orders for the town of Mariposa were lifted today at 11 a.m. but residents are urged to be cautious as there will still be smoke in the respective areas as firefighters continue firefighting.

The cause of the Detwiler Fire remains under investigation.

Over two thousand firefighters are battling a wildfire that has engulfed 48,000 acres of rugged terrain in California. A day-old Cal Fire perimeter map posted Friday afternoon at Smith Station Road and Highway 120 showed how close the blaze was to Dogtown in Mariposa County.

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More than 3,800 firefighters, working in temperatures of 90 to 96 degrees Fahrenheit (32 to 36 Celsius), were battling the fire, Cal Fire said.

The fire burned 12 acres in the Auburn area.

"We saw the ashes fall down, but that was all", she said.

Carol Dewey, who owns a downtown bed and breakfast, was one of several business owners allowed in Thursday to check on their shops.

"The place is like a ghost town", Dewey said. "Business is just flat".

Dewey, 64, said that in recent years, about 30 new shops and wine bars have opened, attracting lots of young tourists but the fire has emptied the place.

Rangers warned visitors with respiratory problems to be mindful of the smoky haze over the park's landmark Half Dome rock face.