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Silver fire: Containment now at 47%; evacuees allowed some access

August 10, 2013|By Jason Wells and Christine Mai-Duc
  • A view of a burned-out home in the Poppet Flats after the Silver fire raced through the neighborhood.
A view of a burned-out home in the Poppet Flats after the Silver fire raced… (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles…)

Firefighters continue to gain the upper hand on the fast-spreading Silver fire in Riverside County, which after scorching 27 square miles is now 47% contained, officials reported.

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

The fire, which started Wednesday, has grown to 19,000 acres and destroyed 26 homes as it moves eastward over dry, rugged land south of Banning.

Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a state of emergency in Riverside County, clearing the way for so victims of the Silver fire to be eligible for federal disaster aid.

National Weather Service meteorologist Brandt Maxwell firefighters will have to contend with a warming trend this weekend and continued low humidity that could prove problematic.

Combined with a decrease in winds out of the west, the fire could begin burning up the north slope of the San Jacinto Mountains toward the forest, where thicker fuels await, he said.

Meanwhile, the evacuation center at Hemet High School had closed as some residents were allowed to reenter their fire-scorched neighborhoods.

Residents of Snow Creek, Cabazon, Mt. Edna and Poppet Flats were allowed to reenter affected areas as of Friday night, but only after securing a pass from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department until further notice.

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jason.wells@latimes.com

Follow: @jasonbretwells / Facebook / Google+

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