MARIPOSA COUNTY (CBS13) — A fast-moving wildfire in Mariposa County has more than doubled in size in one day, now spanning 1,300 acres.

The Hunters Fire is 20 percent contained. It’s destroyed two homes and is threatening 100 more.

While the fire’s growth wasn’t as prevalent during the day on Tuesday, Cal Fire says the calm winds are picking up during the night.

In the steep Mariposa County terrain, firefighters have no choice but to make an aerial attack after the fire doubled in size Monday night, fueled by dry brush.

The Finches are nervously watching the flames creep closer and closer to their front door, now just 100 yards away.

Their home is the only one for miles in the sparsely populated area of Bear Valley. Though they are among the dozens of families told to evacuate, they ignored the order and stayed put.

Mona Lotspeich lives three miles from the flames, but isn’t taking any chances. She’s already packed her bags just in case and slept in her truck with her baby chicken, two dogs and a cat.

“It wasn’t so bad until you could start smelling it and that’s when we loaded up the critters,” she said.

Firefighters say despite the heat, winds were calm, giving crews a chance to make good progress on Tuesday. Their main goal is to prevent the flames from jumping into the Merced River Canyon.

“That’s where we would have some problems and the fire would take off on us,” said Cal Fire’s Frank Bigelow. “We have significant fire history in that area.”


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