Wildfires in Southern California grow with little containment

Wildfires in Southern California grow with little containment

HEMET, Calif. (AP) — Two wildfires spiraled out of control in the interior of Southern California on Wednesday, prompting the evacuation of a community and a mountain resort.

The deadly Fairview Fire has expanded to almost 8 square miles (20.7 square kilometers) near the city of Hemet in Riverside County, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.

California Fire Battalion Chief Josh Janssen said at a pre-dawn briefing that the fire was only 5% contained, with “open fire from all sides of the fire still threatening several communities.”

The fire broke out on Monday amid a triple-digit heatwave and spread ferociously, killing two people who were found in the vehicle, severely burning another, destroying seven structures and damaging several others.

“Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot positively identify the victims, but we believe they were from the same family,” the sheriff’s sergeant said. Brandi Swan. “It looks like the two victims who were found inside the car were trying to escape the fire.”

The victim was identified only as a woman. The swan said she had to survive.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Southern California Edison notified the California Public Utilities Commission that “circuit activity” occurred shortly before the fire was reported, according to the Los Angeles Times. Activity not listed.

About 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the north, smoke hung over ski runs in the San Bernardino Mountains as the Radford Fire consumed forest stands south of the Big Bear Lake resort region.

The blaze has spread about 1.5 square miles (3.8 square kilometers) since it was spotted by a US Forest Service helicopter crew on Monday afternoon. As of Tuesday evening, its content was only 2%.

About the photo: A wildfire burns behind hillside homes on Tuesday, September 6, 2022, near Hemet, Calif. (AP Photo/Ringo HW Chiu)

Copyright 2022 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

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