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Silver fire: Homes burning, 5,000 acres lost, no containment

August 07, 2013|By Jason Wells and Shelby Grad

A fast-moving brush fire south of Banning has burned more than 5,000 acres, injured one firefighter and destroyed numerous homes and structures.

CalFire reported “multiple structures involved” in the hamlet of Twin Pines. TV footage showed additional homes on fire in nearby Poppet Flats.

Firefighters were dealing with strong westerly winds that are expected to continue until sunset.

The fire was jumping through the rocky desert hillside, overtaking remote homes and other structures that dot the landscape.

There was no estimate on the number of structures destroyed, in part because the fire was spread out over a large area.

Officials did not disclose the injuries the firefighter suffered. But KTLA News said he suffered burns and was airlifted to a hospital.

The Silver fire forced the closure of Highway 243. Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley were under mandatory evacuation orders within the last hour.

The fire was 0% contained.

CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said incident commanders had a “significant number of fire engines that are assigned to structure defense.”

The fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m. and had consumed 300 acres by 4 p.m.

An evacuation center has been opened at Hemet High School, 41701 E Stetson Ave., in Hemet.

Nearly 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, as were four air tankers, five helicopters and two bulldozers, according to a CalFire spokesman. 


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