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“Woodlot” Fire Grows to 300 Acres, 20 Percent Contained

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Authorities now say the “Woodlot” fire burning in the Stanislaus National Forest has burned 300 acres in southern Tuolumne County near the Mariposa County town of El Portal. No evacuations are planned.

Deb Schweizer with the Park Service says the fire started yesterday afternoon. “We were not able to contain it. It was able to jump the Foresta Road,” she said.

Many agencies are helping in the fight, including Yosemite National Park, the Stanislaus National Forest, the Sierra National Forest, the California Highway Patrol, the Mariposa County Sheriff´s Department and others. “There´s a lot of people responding full-bore right now,” Schweizer said. Helicopters carrying water are making trips to the blaze “non stop,” she added.

One Forest Service official tells that 28 handcrews have been ordered, as well as 17 engines. An airtanker from Columbia Airport is assisting as well.

The fire is about 20 percent contained. There are no estimates right now for full containment.

Some prescribed burning this past spring in the area has helped. That prescribed burning “provided a lot of protection for the community of El Portal,” Schweizer said.

It´s going to be very hot and dry here over the next few days. Temperatures as hot as 105 degrees are expected tomorrow.

“It´s dry, so there´s fuel for the fire to travel,” Schweizer said.