Wind-driven wildfire burning near Riverside County communities now beyond 5000 acres

Courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter              
                     					Courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter

Courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter Courtesy of Cal Fire via Twitter

The fire burning near Hwy 79 and Dump Road in Lambs Canyon has charred 5,800 acres and is 20 percent contained. Kemp said the current fire may indicate what's to come.

A CalFire agency spokeswoman said a two-car wreck with a post-crash eruption triggered the wildfire, which was closing in on the communities of Poppet Flats and Silent Valley, as well as other lightly populated areas between Highland Home Road and state Route 243 in the Banning Pass. Although crews made significant progress, Cal Fire Capt. Chris Kemp said they will have to battle the heat, wind and low humidity while trying to increase containment lines. There is a hard closure of Highway 79 between Beaumont and Gilman Springs in place.

The fire was caused by a single vehicle collision, according to Cal Fire Riverside.

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In the second hour of the blaze, voluntary evacuations were announced on Death Valley Road, Highland Home Road, Longhorn Road and Shirleon Drive, all of which are situated southeast of Beaumont. That blaze broke out late Monday afternoon and grew to about 500 acres in just a few hours, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The fire, which authorities referred to as a Manzanita Fire, shut down Highway 79 for most of the evening and prompted evacuation warnings for residents on multiple roads.

At least three helicopters, eight air tankers, fifteen inmate fire crews, four water tenders, five bulldozers and a helitender were at the scene, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Jody Hagemann told Valley News. The sheriff's department described the mistake as a glitch.

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