Earth Watch Report - Forest / Wild Fires
The Silver Fire lights up the night near Banning, California August 7, 2013.
Thick black smoke from the Silver Fire blows over the interstate 10 near Banning, California August 7, 2013.
|08.08.2013||Forest / Wild Fire||USA||State of California, [Banning regions]|
|An out-of-control wildfire growing with great speed in Southern California mountains Wednesday night burned homes, forced the evacuation of several mountain communities and left three people including two firefighters injured, two of them firefighters. The fire broke out about 2 p.m. near Banning and surge to at least 6,000 acres, or more than 9 square miles, within a few hours, state fire officials said. One civilian was burned and airlifted to a hospital, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement. Two firefighters were also injured and both were taken to hospitals by ambulance. Officials would give no further details on the injuries. Fire officials said about a dozen structures were damaged or destroyed, but could not say how many were homes. Footage from TV news helicopters and photos from the scene showed several houses in flames. They include the Twin Pines home of Dave Clark, whose parents were killed in a house fire in Riverside in April 2012 the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Prosecutors alleged Clark’s sister Deborah Clark set the fire, and she was awaiting a mental-competency hearing to see if she was competent to stand trial for her parents’ murder in a case that has received extensive local media coverage. A photograph taken by the Desert Sun newspaper showed Clark talking on his cellphone with the home fully engulfed in flames behind him. “He said he lost everything, he couldn’t talk,” brother Jeff Clark told the Press-Enterprise. More than 500 firefighters, helped by five helicopters and five air tankers, were working to protect homes and get ahead of the flames. All but three helicopters were grounded after night fall but were set to return to the air Thursday morning. Evacuations orders were given for the rural communities of Poppet Flats, Twin Pines, Edna Valley and Silent Valley, and evacuation centers were set up at high schools in Hemet and Banning. The communities are in the San Jacinto Mountains some along Interstate 10 some 80 miles east of Los Angeles. It’s not clear how many people or homes were affected by the evacuations.|
Southern California wildfire pushes east, forces evacuations
A home burns as it is consumed by the Silver Fire near Banning, California August 7, 2013.
(Reuters) – A wind-whipped California wildfire that doubled in size overnight torched 15 buildings east of Los Angeles, injured at least five people and forced the evacuation of 500 homes in about half a dozen small communities, authorities said on Thursday.
The fire broke out on Wednesday near a back-country road in Riverside County, and by early Thursday had blackened more than 10,000 acres, the Riverside County Fire Department said on its website.
Four firefighters and one civilian have been hurt in the blaze, which is raging through tinder-dry brush and is just ten percent contained. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.
Vista Grande, Mount Edna, Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley were among several communities under mandatory evacuation orders as the fire burned toward Cabazon, a city of 2,500 residents about 20 miles west of Palm Springs.