Idyllwild Fire Prompts Massive Evacuations, 19,400 Acres (7,850 Hectares) Scorched

So far, only 15 percent of the blaze has been contained

By on July 18th, 2013 07:50 GMT

More than 6 homes have been destroyed and the entire town of Idyllwild in California has been evacuated as a wildfire burns through the area.

News Max writes that the blaze started near Mountain Center and Apple Canyon on Monday, July 15. All small towns in the area east of Highway 243 are being evacuated, KTLA adds.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Forest Service mentions that evacuations were in place in Fern Valley, Idyllwild, U.S. Forest Service Campgrounds, the U.S. Forest Service Wilderness and the Mt. San Jacinto State Park.

The threat had spread to 4,400 homes, sheds and other buildings by 9 p.m. on Wednesday. 19,400 acres (7,850 hectares) have been burnt so far.

2,200 firefighters were dispatched to put off the blaze, but as of yesterday night, only 15 percent of the fire had been contained.

The destroyed homes are located in Bonita Vista, and three of them are trailers. A seventh residence incurred damage.

A total of 15 structures were burnt down, with six vehicles ruined in the wildfire. The fire is spreading because of temperatures three times as high as the norm.

The region is full of old timber and extremely dry brush, which are acting as fuel.

"It’s hot, it's dry, it’s windy and it's really dry brush," explains Forest Service spokesman Lee Beyer.

The residents are being offered shelter at Red Cross location in local high-schools.

Just last month, we reported about a wildfire that killed 19 firefighters in Arizona, in the Phoenix area.

"This is as dark a day as I can remember. [...] It may be days or longer before an investigation reveals how this tragedy occurred, but the essence we already know in our hearts: fighting fires is dangerous work," Gov. Jan Brewer expressed after the incident.

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Wildfire scorches towns, woods near Idyllwild
   Wildfire scorches towns, woods near Idyllwild