Detwiler Fire causes destruction in Mariposa County


Downtown Mariposa is still deserted, but it’s still standing and has a few residents in town waiting out the Detwiler Fire.

But just a mile up the road where the fire spread, you can’t say the same.

A scene of destruction – eerily quiet hills outside of Mariposa are filled with destroyed homes. Some are scorching after the roaring wildfire rolled through.

Fires are nothing new to Bob Borchard. He’s lived in Mariposa County for more than 40 years, and he is waiting out the fire.

“The immediate threat wasn’t there. We have significant business in town. Most people learn to cope with that” Borchard said.

That doesn’t mean he’s not worried. He’s never seen a fire this big so close to home.

“If you look at the map, the heart of Mariposa County – the gold country is under attack. It’s really huge; it’s significant – this the biggest in history,” Borchard said.

Dozens of Borchard’s friends’ homes now look like this.

Cal Fire public information officer Jordan Motta said dry conditions around homes without defensible space is a dangerous combination.

“It’s particularly devastating when we have to evacuate especially an entire town,” Motta said.

And that’s what put many of these homes in danger.

But if humidity and winds stay on firefighters side, Motta is hopeful containment will increase.

Motta said, “When the conditions are right, and it allows us to attack the fire and get close, we will jump to build those containment lines.”

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