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Fire crews gain on Silver fire in Riverside County

By Saturday evening, the Silver fire was 70% contained and firefighters had succeeded in keeping it out of the San Bernardino National Forest.

August 10, 2013|By Bettina Boxall

Fire crews made significant headway Saturday containing the Silver fire, which has blackened 19,000 acres and destroyed 26 homes in the San Gorgonio Pass in Riverside County.

By evening the wildfire was 70% contained and the 2,106 firefighters on the scene had succeeded in keeping the blaze out of the San Bernardino National Forest.

"Things are looking real good," said Robbie Richard, a spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Evacuation orders had been lifted for several areas, although they remained in place for the communities of Vista Grande, Twin Pines and Silent Valley.

The fire began Wednesday south of Interstate 10 and quickly spread east across rugged hills, burning through dry grass and chaparral. The flames were driven by the steady winds common to the pass, which is the site of some of the biggest wind turbine operations in the state.

A firefighter sustained minor injuries while battling the blaze Saturday, bringing the total number of those hurt to eight, including one civilian who was badly burned.

To the west, the Sharp fire, burning in steep terrain southeast of Wrightwood in the Angeles National Forest, was 40% contained late Saturday afternoon. That fire, which started Thursday, remained small, scorching 150 acres of heavy timber.

Evacuations were ordered for Mojave Scenic and East Canyon drives south from Lone Pine Canyon Road to Buckthorn, Slippery Elm and Mt. Mahogany roads. A Red Cross evacuation center was open at Serrano High School in Phelan.

bettina.boxall@latimes.com

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