Fires

The fight to save the gold-mining town of Mariposa from a monster fire

The fight to save the gold-mining town of Mariposa from a monster fire

As firetrucks rolled through the hazy, deserted streets of this historic gold-mining town, Brian Redding stood behind the cash register at the Grizzly Gas mini-market Thursday, waiting in his green uniform.

A few firefighters who had been hard at work protecting tiny Mariposa from the explosive Detwiler fire had stopped in for snacks. But while the blaze still raged in the Sierra Nevada foothills, destroying dozens of homes in its path, an uneasy quiet had settled over the evacuated town of 2,100 people.

“It’s pretty slow,” Redding said. “Kind of a ghost town.”

Slow is perhaps a best-case scenario for Mariposa — and a stark contrast from the chaos Tuesday, when...

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