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Dry Conditions Spur Rapid Spread of Hunters Fire

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Cal Fire
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In the late afternoon on Memorial Day, a wildfire touched off in rural Mariposa County.  Just two days later, the so-called Hunters Fire has engulfed 1300 acres and destroyed two homes.

Daniel Berlant, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, says fires this time of year aren't unusual--but ones that travel so fast are.

Berlant: When we have fires this time of year, it's mainly due to the fact that we get strong winds or we have dry lightning, some kind of weather system that really pushes the fire. This fire is really being driven by the steep terrain and the dry conditions.

Over 600 firefighters are battling the blaze, some from above in helicopters and air tankers.  Five injuries have been reported so far, and over 100 homes from the Hunters Valley area have been evacuated.

Kerry Klein is an award-winning reporter whose coverage of public health, air pollution, drinking water access and wildfires in the San Joaquin Valley has been featured on NPR, KQED, Science Friday and Kaiser Health News. Her work has earned numerous regional Edward R. Murrow and Golden Mike Awards and has been recognized by the Association of Health Care Journalists and Society of Environmental Journalists. Her podcast Escape From Mammoth Pool was named a podcast “listeners couldn’t get enough of in 2021” by the radio aggregator NPR One.
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