Fire Season 2014: Wildfire Near Mariposa Burns At Least 500 Acres

Dozens of{}people are spending Monday night away from their homes, as a wildfire is raging in Mariposa County.It started just after 3:30 p.m. Monday, near the Hunters Valley Access Rd in the Bear Valley Area.As of Monday night, mandatory evacuations have been ordered for all of Hunters Valley Road to Bear Valley Road. That includes Hunters Valley Access Road and Detweiller Road.Right now, there are no evacuations for Cotton Creek Road.Everyone in the area should evacuate immediately. The evacuation center is at 2820 Hwy 140, at McKay Hall in Cathey's Valley. The Red Cross is there helping families.The{}fire{}began small, but spread quickly.Within an hour of starting, the fire grew to 250 acres. Just a few hours later, it had doubled to 500 acres.More than 200 firefighters are on-scene, and more are expected to pitch in on Tuesday. Air crews are expected to help again starting at 7 a.m. Tuesday.{}Firefighters have their hands full. Dry grass in the area has been fueling the flames.{}Crews say they normally see fires this strong in July or August.They say the terrain is also physically grueling. The hill has a 60% grade.Some crews are familiar with the area-- there was a fire in the same stretch of land, south of the Merced River and East of Lake McClure, in the year 2000.A Cal Fire spokesperson told KMPH Fox 26 News that the fire was 20% contained as of{}Monday night.You can check here throughout the night for up-to-date evacuation information.