Battle against the Detwiler Fire picking up as crew protect homes near Coulterville

MARIPOSA, Calif. (KFSN) -- A fiery inferno burning steep ridges of the sierra, just miles from the historic community of Coulterville. It is a community where few live and now even fewer remain.

"Each day it looks like it's stopped, but then it flares up and takes off in a new direction it seems like," said Edward Dawson, Coulterville.

Dawson's home is under a mandatory evacuation like the rest of this ghost town. He won't leave until the last possible moment, even though the Detwiler Fire started not far from here near Lake McClure, and continues to threaten the area.

"When the Rim Fire came up before but nothing like this-- this close."

Head further south from Coulterville and these flames-- you will see nothing but charred hillside. It isn't until you hit the Bear Valley community where you will see how close the fire got to homes.

"Especially when you see that wall of fire coming at you-- I'm like, I can't stop that," said Martin Lilley, Bear Valley.

Lilley is another man who risked his life to stay behind. Thanks to firefighters his house, like many around him, are still standing.

"After a fire if, there's a flare up, you ain't there. Nobody else is there-- it just burns and it's my mom and dad's place, so I wasn't going to let that happen."

A few miles south into Mariposa, the devastation of the fire starts to sink in. The Detwiler Fire consumed 50 homes and some of those are scattered here are among the lucky houses still standing. It is what remains of a massive fire that's traveling north along Highway 49 stopping for nothing in its path.
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