The Latest: Agency: Boy smoking pot sparks California fire

AP News
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Posted: Jul 21, 2017 3:49 PM
The Latest: Agency: Boy smoking pot sparks California fire

MARIPOSA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the wildfires burning in the west (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Authorities say a boy smoking marijuana was arrested for investigation of starting a small wildfire outside Sacramento.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said the fire on Thursday had threatened homes and prompted temporary evacuations in the Auburn area.

Authorities have not yet determined if the boy set the fire or purpose or if it was an accident. The boy's name and age were not released.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office says he reported the fire to authorities.

The fire burned 12 acres. No homes were damaged and no injuries were reported.

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11:55 a.m.

Firefighters in California have lifted an evacuation order for residents of a Gold Rush-era town that was threatened by a wildfire.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Andy Isolano said the order was ended Friday for residents of Mariposa near Yosemite National Park.

The historic town, popular with tourists headed to Yosemite, was cleared after the wildfire started Sunday.

The blaze has destroyed 58 homes and burned 115 square miles (298 square kilometers).

Many of the 5,000 people told to leave several foothill communities remain under evacuation orders as firefighters battle the ongoing blaze.

Isolano also says Highway 140 between Mariposa and Yosemite has been reopened.

Officials are investigating an injury accident involving a fire engine. No further details were available.

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7:30 a.m.

Authorities say a stubborn wildfire burning in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California has destroyed 58 homes.

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said Friday the fire grew slightly overnight to 115 square miles (298 square kilometers) and threatens at least 1,500 homes.

Firefighters are racing to control the blaze before it reaches the Gold-Rush era town of Mariposa.

The fire is 15 percent contained.

More than 3,800 firefighters are battling the blaze that has forced almost 5,000 people from homes in and around a half-dozen small communities.

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2:15 a.m.

The town of Mariposa, with its century-old saloons and covered sidewalks, normally bustles with summer visitors on their way to Yosemite National Park but the Gold Rush-era hamlet was mostly empty as ash rained down and heavy smoke from a nearby blaze darkened the sky.

The blaze in the Sierra Nevada foothills threatened hundreds of homes and historic buildings, including a wood courthouse founded in 1854 and touted as the oldest active courthouse west of the Rocky Mountains.

The fire did not grow as significantly Thursday as it had earlier in the week, but state fire officials revealed late in the day that 99 structures have now been destroyed, 50 of them homes. Eleven homes and five other structures have been damaged. The wildfire has scorched 110 square miles (282 square kilometers), threatening at least 1,500 homes.