Hundreds of structures threatened as California wildfire explodes in size

West

MARIPOSA COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE) — The River Fire continues to grow, reaching 9,500 acres and 15% containment.

Cal Fire estimates that 600 structures are currently being threatened by flames. They don’t know how many of those are homes. 

“We’re wondering if it’s going to shoot through these mountains and come this way. So we’re packed and ready to go,” said Stuart Pincus, who lives near the fire.

Pincus and his family live just outside the mandatory evacuation zone in Madera County, where new evacuation orders were issued Monday.

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He’s monitoring the situation closely and is ready to go if it comes to it. 

“This morning it was really clear, last night it was not, today it’s nice and dark and smoky and then we started getting ash all over the place, you can see it all over the ground, so I don’t know. We’ll see,” said Pincus.

Additional crews are arriving to join the fight, with more expected in the coming days. 

The personnel now jumping from around 500 to more than 1,300, including 30 hand crews, about 160 engines, and around 25 dozers. 

“They’re working to reinforce containment lines and construct containment lines,” said Jaimie Williams with Cal Fire.

Williams says the extreme heat has been a challenge, and crews are looking forward to some relief.

“Throughout the day, they’ve had frequent spot fires and tree torching, along with low humidity and high temperatures, so they’re trying to get as much work done this evening and throughout the night while the temperatures are a little bit cooler,” said Williams.

Cal Fire confirms eight structures have been destroyed. Four of them considered outbuildings, but they have no more specifics on the damaged property. 

Pincus says this is just something people living in the area have to expect.

“It’s worth living here. It’s beautiful up here. The fire part, not good, other than that it’s awesome,” said Pincus.  

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