Local firefighters headed south to assist with fire in Riverside County

Local firefighters headed south to assist with fire in Riverside County

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California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County Thursday as a massive fire tore through thousands of acres near Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains.

California Fire Captain Scott Visyak told ABC: "It's going to be hot, it's going to be dry and the winds are going to pick up and there's still a lot of fire burning out there so we've got a big concern just on firefighter safety alone".

The fire erupted Wednesday and rapidly spread over 7½ square miles (19 square kilometers), forcing the evacuation of the entire town of Idyllwild, other communities and youth summer camps.

The Carr Fire in Northern California that has claimed the life of a bulldozer operator and injured at least three firefighters is "taking everything down in its path", a fire official said.

Evacuations were ordered in Mountain Center along McGaugh Road and McCall Park Road after the fire jumped Highway 243 near Idyllwild Grinding Facility, the Forest Service said via Twitter.

All guests had also left Tahquitz Pines, which said on Facebook that the property was clear.

Lambert and his wife, Theresa Ho, were briefly evacuated last week when smoke cast an unhealthy pall over the home where they live upstairs and rent the downstairs to tourists. "It was a father-daughter trip, for her high school graduation".

Officials emphasized that Yosemite wasn't in imminent danger from the fire. In a matter of hours it grew to 7.5 square miles.

Over almost two weeks, flames have churned through 60 square miles (155 square kilometers) of timber in steep terrain of the Sierra Nevada just west of the park.

One of the fires McGlover allegedly started is the Cranston Fire, which is actively burning on Federal land in the San Jacinto Ranger District, and is now 4,700 acres with zero percent containment.

Noah Berger reported from Yosemite; Chris Weber from Los Angeles.

More than 3,300 firefighters are working the fire, aided by 16 helicopters.

  • Terrell Bush