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Silver fire: 3 people hurt, homes destroyed, 5,000 acres burned

August 07, 2013|By Ari Bloomekatz and Jason Wells | This post has been updated

Two firefighters were hurt along with one civilian Wednesday, as destructive wildfire consumed more than 5,000 acres and destroyed an undetermined number of buildings and homes.

Cal Fire confirmed the injuries but provided no other details. KTLA News reported that one of the firefighters suffered burns and was airlifted to a hospital.

The Silver fire began shortly after 2 p.m. around Poppet Flats Road near Highway 243, south of Banning.

Cal Fire reported "multiple structures involved" in Twin Pines, and television footage showed other homes and buildings on fire in nearby Poppet Flats.

Mandatory evacuations were in place for the communities of Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley. Highway 243 was closed and evacuation centers set up at Hemet High School and Beaumont High School.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said incident commanders had a "significant number of fire engines that are assigned to structure defense," but it was unclear how successful those defensive maneuvers have been.

Early Wednesday evening, the fire remained 0% contained as more than 450 people were on scene to fight the blaze.

[Update: 9:21 p.m.] Cal Fire spokesman Berlant said the two injured firefighters were taken by ground transport for treatment. A civilian was airlifted.


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