Authorities evacuated Mariposa town residents on Tuesday as the fire neared, but evacuation orders were lifted Friday because of "decreased fire activity and successful firefighting operation", according to the Mariposa County Sheriff's Office.
More than 3,000 firefighters are battling the Detwiler Fire that has forced hundreds to evacuate and destroyed at least 99 structures.
The Detwiler, one of dozens of major wildfires burning across the U.S. West, was 25 percent contained as of Friday evening, Cal Fire said on its tracking website. More than 2,200 firefighters are battling the fire, and they are requesting more bulldozers, fire engines and hand crews to fight the flames. Usually at this time of year it would be thronged with visitors on their way to nearby Yosemite National Park. Evacuations due to the fire have been extensive, affecting more than 4,000 residents.
The fire was threatening about 1,500 homes and other buildings, after already destroying 45 structures in the outskirts of Mariposa.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation. "This fire has really devastated the area, business is just flat".
"Even though the fire has grown in one area, there's containment in other areas and those are safe for the owners to go back", Cal Fire spokesman John Clingingsmith said.
They say the fire has also come within 56 kilometers of Yosemite, and officials have warned campers with respiratory problems there to be aware of the smoky haze creeping into the park. "The imminent threat to Mariposa is over", Motta said, but added that crews will continue to maintain that line.
Air quality in Yosemite Valley and the rest of the park has been impacted by smoke from the Detwiler Fire.