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BLM reopens Merced River recreation areas as Detwiler Fire nears containment

Watch a time-lapse of the Detwiler Fire

The Detwiler Fire is raging near Mariposa. Here is a time-lapse of it from different vantage points along Highway 49.
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The Detwiler Fire is raging near Mariposa. Here is a time-lapse of it from different vantage points along Highway 49.

With the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County nearing full containment, the federal Bureau of Land Management announced the reopening of its recreational sites along the Merced River.

BLM-managed recreational areas near the entrance to Yosemite National Park were closed July 18 as the Detwiler Fire threatened the area. BLM announced Wednesday that the Briceburg Visitor Center and Cable Rock day-use area, as well as McCabe Flat, Willow Placer and Railroad Flat campgrounds are now open to the public.

The Detwiler Fire, which started July 16, burned 81,826 acres and destroyed 63 residences. It was reported 90 percent contained Wednesday.

The Merced River Recreation Area is popular for whitewater rafting and camping. BLM noted that camping is allowed only in designated, numbered tent sites for $10 per night, on a first-come, first-serve basis. Reservations are not available.

The area is under Stage 2 fire restrictions, meaning no campfires, charcoal barbecue grills or open fires area allowed, according to a BLM news release. Only portable stoves with gas, jellied petroleum or pressured liquid fuel are allowed with a valid California campfire permit.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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