Fire Sparks Mandatory Evacuations in Sierra Foothills

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Evacuations were ordered Monday after a wildfire sprang up in the Sierra foothills of central California, quickly grew to more than 500 acres and threatened more than 100 homes, authorities said.

The fire was burning east of Lake McClure in the Hunters Valley area of Mariposa County, about 55 miles east of Modesto. The fire, which was reported about 3:30 p.m., was a few miles west of highway 49, between two of the routes into Yosemite Valley.

It was unclear how many people were affected by the evacuation order, which covered all of Hunters Valley Road south to Bear Valley Road, Mariposa County said on its website.

Many people are in the Sierra foothills for the Memorial Day weekend, Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant told NBC station KCRA of Sacramento.

Berland told KCRA that warm temperatures and dry conditions helped the fire spread quickly.

— Gil Aegerter