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Telegraph Fire Closing In On 30,000 Acres Burned

Mariposa, CA — According to CAL Fire and Incident Command Team 8, the Mariposa County Sheriff´s Department and the Mariposa County Fire Department Hwy 140 was closed late Monday afternoon to traffic three miles west of Briceburg and four miles west of El Portal at Cedar Lodge.

The Telegraph Fire has burned 29,600 acres (46 square miles) and is only 10 percent contained. The cost of fighting the four day old fire now stands at $9,100,000.

Current status; The fire is burning in the Merced River Drainage on both sides of the river and making major runs in all directions through thick stands of manzanita, chamise and oak. Extreme fire behavior has been observed with flame lengths of up to 100 feet reported. Similar burning conditions are expected at least through noon today. The fire is moving north and east into the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forest affecting a 70 kv transmission line providing power to Yosemite Valley.

Resources assigned include 3,458 personnel, 71 hand crews, 408 engines, 30 water tenders, 59 dozers, 13 helicoptres and six air tankers.

The communities of Mariposa, Midpines and Mt. Bullion Conservation Camp are under evacuation advisory. The Mariposa Public Utility District water supply, 70 kv transmissionline supporting Yosemite Valley, and numerous communication/repeater towers are threatened.

A mandatory evacuation of 25 homes in the Coulterville area was issued at 3pm Sunday. That includes Texas Hill Rd. and Dogtown Rd. from Texas Hill to Schilling Rd. An evacuation advisory is in effect for all residences in the immediate fire area including the communities east of North Hwy 49 at Mykleoaks Rd. south to the Hwy 140 junction. This also includes communities west of Hwy 140 from Mariposa north to Briceburg.

25 residences and 27 outbuildings have been destroyed. 4,000 structures are listed as threatened.

The Red Cross evacuation centers are located at the Mariposa Elementary School, 5044 Jones St., Mariposa and the Greeley Hill Community Center, 10332 Fiske Rd., Greeley Hill. The animal evacuation hot line is (209) 966-3615.

Page 72 of the Sierra Phone Directory has useful information for residents dealing with wildland fire situations. Evacuation hotline phone number is (209) 966-1133.

The Mariposa Department of Motor Vehicles office, located at 5629 Hwy 94 North, has closed its office for the remainder of the week due to low air quality. The office is expected to reopen at 8am Monday, August 4. Office technicians and customers will be redirected to DMV offices in Madera and Merced. The Madera office is located at 1206 Maple St. (50 miles away) and the Merced office is located at 1313 We. 12th St. (41 miles away).

The Telegraph Fire started at 1510 hours, Friday, July 25 due to target shooting.

Written by Bill Johnson