Wildfires

'Explosive' flames destroy 45 homes as 70,000-acre wildfire rages near Yosemite

'Explosive' flames destroy 45 homes as 70,000-acre wildfire rages near Yosemite

A huge wildfire near Yosemite National Park swelled to more than 70,000 acres overnight as flames destroyed at least 45 homes and forced two towns to evacuate.

Burning east of Merced, the Detwiler fire in Mariposa County grew from 48,000 acres to 70,096 acres Thursday morning, said Nancy Phillipe, spokeswoman for the California Department Forestry and Fire Protection.

The aggressive blaze, which was 10% contained, has forced more than 4,000 residents to flee their homes and triggered evacuations for the historic Gold Rush towns of Mariposa and Coulterville. The massive fire has destroyed 45 homes, according to Cal Fire Incident Commander Todd Derum, and firefighters expect...

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