The Fairview Fire in Hemet, which has already claimed two lives and burned multiple houses, has grown to almost 4,500 acres with only 5% control as firefighters battle to douse the inferno.
At the scene on Tuesday morning, Cal Fire spokesperson Rob Roseen remarked, “The fire activity has been highly unexpected.”
Around 2 p.m. on Monday, a brush fire started on the outskirts of Hemet in Riverside County and quickly spread.
In an attempt to run, two persons were murdered and one was hurt, according to Cal Fire Chief Josh Janssen, who spoke at a morning press conference.
They were attempting to flee the fire in Avery Canyon when they unluckily were stuck. There is only one entrance and exit, continued Captain Richard Cardova.
The fatalities are being looked into by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Whether the individuals were family members or members of the same home is yet unknown.
Janssen was unable to provide an update on the number of buildings damaged or destroyed by the fire, but Cal Fire reported that as of Monday night, seven buildings had burned to the ground.
On the now-deserted highlands east of State Street and south of Stetson Avenue, Sky5 video revealed a number of burned-out houses.
Along with the difficult terrain, smoke, and flames from the fire, firefighters also had to deal with high temperatures. Hemet experienced a high of 105 degrees on Monday afternoon, and temperatures were expected to remain there on Tuesday due to an extended heat wave.
About 3,400 residences in the Stetson Avenue, Cactus Valley Road, Bautista Canyon, and State Street (south), west, and east (north), mandatory evacuation zones, remained under mandatory evacuation orders.
For the area extending from Thomas Mountain Ridge South to Cactus Valley and Bautista Canyon to Forest Boundary, another evacuation order was issued.
Tahquitz High School, 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet, was designated as an evacuation centre. According to Shane Reichardt, a representative for the Riverside County Emergency Management Department, small animals might be taken to that location.
The Hemet Unified School District declared that Tuesday will be a holiday for all students. According to Reichardt, the district would keep kids and families informed about the shutdown.
About 50 customers were under a boil-water alert as a result of the fire, according to representatives of the area’s water provider, Eastern Municipal Water District. The power outage that reduced the pressure in one of the district’s water tanks led to the alert being issued.