Rugged terrain makes Telegraph fire difficult to control

MARIPOSA, Calif. — Donna Franklin took her grandson to a relative's home last weekend to enjoy a day of swimming. While the kids played in the pool, Franklin saw smoke. She wasn't too worried, even though she knew there was a wildfire in the area. After all, fires had devastated areas around Mariposa in the past, and her home and family had always been OK.

But then Franklin and Toni Shanes, who owned the house Franklin was visiting, were told to evacuate.

"We saw the smoke first, coming over the ridge," Franklin said. "Then the fire came right behind it, like a lava flow, right down the ridge."

With pine trees exploding and the fire racing, Franklin and Shanes loaded up four children, six dogs and some of their belongings and fled the fire.

Franklin and Shanes were both at the Red Cross evacuation shelter at the Mariposa County Fairgrounds. And both of them had good news.

"We didn't get burned out," Shanes said. "They have let us go back to get some stuff, but just for a few minutes."

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