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Mariposa County Wildfire Spreads, Hundreds Evacuated

Cal Fire says crews are responding to wildfires across the state but this one has their attention... forcing more evacuations by the hour.
Hundreds of evacuations are ordered in Mariposa County.

The Carstens fire has burned 1600 acres and continues to spread. It's still only 15% contained

A red glow lit up the night sky on day 2 of the Carstens fire.

On the other side of the mountain, the blaze intensifies and so does the firefight... from the air and ground.

"They're coming in from Northern California, Southern California... throughout the entire state," said Cal Fire's Tina Rose.

Cal Fire says crews are responding to wildfires across the state but this one has their attention, forcing  more evacuations by the hour.

Flames are bearing down on 650 homes.150 of them in the Lush Meadows neighborhood where homeowners have been evacuated.

The Red Cross is set up at the Mariposa Elementary School... offering shelter, food, showers and health care for evacuees.

"We also have a mental health worker to help those who are over stressed emotionally from the ordeal of being uprooted from their home," said Cindy Thomas of the Red Cross.

People dropped off animals at the Fairgrounds, from chickens and rabbits to horses sheep and livestock guard dogs.

"Actually very stressful getting them out because they were telling us we had to get out right away," said Orlando Vigil.

Vigil and his wife have lived in Mariposa County for 3 decades. They've experienced wildfires, but nothing this aggressive, so close to home. "We'll see if there's anything left when we get back," said Vigil.

Over 800 firefighters are fighting the blaze, with more on the way. At least double are expected to arrive overnight. All of them are being nourished with hot dinners and breakfasts

"They need to be nourished or they can't do their jobs. So we set up a whole mini city here at the fairgrounds where we're at now," said Rose.

Cal Fire says expect to have full containment next week, about June 24th. No word on when homeowners will be allowed back home.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
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