Evacuees Rush to Escape Rapidly Moving Detwiler Fire

MARIPOSA COUNTY -- The Detwiler Fire's rapidly moving flames meant only minutes to spare for many evacuees.

As of Monday evening, the fire reached 11,200 acres and was 5 percent contained.

Mark Morris of Hunter's Valley captured a wall of flames on his phone’s camera as he was forced to leave his home on Sunday night.

“Time to go, man! That fire ain’t waiting on nobody,” Morris said.

He’s just one of a half dozen evacuees who called the Mariposa Elementary School cafeteria their temporary home. The Red Cross transformed the space for residents forced out of Hunter’s Valley and Bear Valley.

Janet Kirkland, another evacuee, said she’s been through these types of evacuations before, so she takes it all in stride.

“I can only take this one day at a time. If my home is still there, hallelujah," Kirkland, also of Hunter’s Valley said. "If my home is not there, I’m going to sit there and cry like a baby until I get done with it and grab a shovel and clean it up."

However, some animals have been left behind. Business owner Kim Costa said the Mariposa community is coming together to help.

“This community is pulling together. They’re offering… we’ve got room for horses and pigs and goats and cows," Costa, owner of Costa Livos in Cathys Valley said.

An administrator with the Facebook group Mariposa Community Relief Efforts for ANIMALS said they are trying to connect lost animals with their owners through social media.

Meanwhile, as the wildfire continued to claim acre after acre on Monday.

Kirkland said that whether her home is still standing or has been reduced to ashes, Mariposa County is still where she wants to be.

“I’ve been here for 30 years," Kirkland said. "I don’t wanna leave, so I’ll be here until I’m I go belly up."

Many of the evacuees told FOX40 they’re unsure if their homes are still standing but all they can do is wait for firefighters to do their job, which they said they’re grateful for as the fire raged on.