UPDATE: Hunters Fire 1,300 Acres, 20 Percent Contained, Inmate Firefighter Cut By Chain saw
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MARIPOSA, Calif. (CBS13/AP) — State fire officials brought in hundreds of additional firefighters to battle a Central California blaze that had burned through 1,300 acres as of Tuesday afternoon and was threatening about 100 rural homes.
The fire burning in foothills near Lake McClure in Mariposa County had nearly doubled in size overnight and was 20 percent contained, state fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said. The threatened homes are under evacuation orders.
Berlant said about 500 firefighters were battling the Hunters Fire on Tuesday morning, up from 100 firefighters when the blaze began a day earlier.
Three people have been injured in the blaze. An inmate helping fight the blaze was cut with a chain saw. They were treated and moved to a Modesto hospital. Safety officers are following up to see how it happened. Another person rolled their ankle.
The fire — fueled by dry brush — was burning in steep terrain that crews were having difficulty accessing. Temperatures were also expected to be in the 90s on Tuesday. Berlant said air tankers and helicopters were being used to fight the blaze.
“This fire is burning like it would in summer with the dry conditions we’ve been experiencing,” Berlant said.
The fire began on Monday afternoon as a structure fire, Berlant said. No additional structures were damaged or destroyed as of Tuesday morning, Berlant said.
Meanwhile, a fire burning in and around Oak Creek Canyon in northern Arizona continued to grow in size even though firefighters have established a containment line around all of it.
The fire’s size increased from 28.9 square miles Monday evening to 31.7 square miles Tuesday morning due to burnout operations intended to deprive the flames of fuel.
The fire’s official containment figure remains at 35 percent because some areas within the containment line still have active low-intensity fire while others remain hot to the touch.
The human-caused fire started May 20.
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