Spring Fire causes Mariposa families to evacuate

News

A fire in Mariposa has forced many families out of their homes Sunday. The Spring Fire ignited around 1:30 p.m. near Highway 49 South and Allred Road.

All day, the sounds of helicopters filled the air as firefighters battled the fire by air and by ground. As of 8:30 p.m., Cal Fire said the fire is 10-percent contained. Also, the forward progress of the fire has stopped, meaning the head of the fire has been halted.

The fire caused many road closures, including Highway 49 South from Varain Road to Darrah Road. Carleton and Allred Roads are closed at Morningstar Lane.

Homes in the area were immediately evacuated and an evacuation shelter at Woodland Elementary was set up for them by the American Red Cross.

Amberly Stanfill, whose family lives on Morningstar Lane, was celebrating her brother Jesse’s 18th birthday when she evacuated.

“My kids went outside to go and play. They came in and said, ‘Mom, we smell smoke.’ So, my sister ran out there and comes in and goes, ‘Oh my gosh, there’s ashes everywhere,’” said Stanfill.

Capt. Robert Carvalho with Cal Fire said the mountainous terrain is the biggest obstacle crews are facing. Dealing with 90-plus temperatures has been challenging, too.

However, it helped there were extra resources readily available.

“We just finished the Ben Fire and the resources came straight here to support us as they were leaving,” said Carvalho.

As crews continue to put out the fire, Stanfill and her family are anxious they can return home soon. Until then, at least they’re all together.

“If we lose something, we lose it, those are material items,” she said. “God’s got his hand on this family and everyone else in this town. We’re going to be okay.”

While many structures are threatened, there have been no reports of any being damaged by the fire yet.

Homes along Indian Peak Road are under evacuation advisement at this time. The road is south of the fire.

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