Chief hopes to boost effort against 7,000-acre Fairview fire near Hemet – San Bernardino Sun

The commander overseeing the fight against the Fairview fire said Wednesday morning, Sept. 7, that he hopes to quickly double the number of people, aircraft and fire engines attacking the deadly blaze burning southeast of Hemet.

Josh Janssen, division chief of the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department, said he assessed the fire’s growth Tuesday afternoon and saw the flames, fueled by dry brush and extreme heat, jumping across the lines dug by hands and bulldozers.

“It was clear that the fire was outpacing our ground and air resources,” Janssen said at a 6 a.m. briefing at the Diamond Valley Aquatic Center.

The fire, several miles from Hemet, grew to 7,091 acres by late morning Wednesday but claimed no further lives or homes. It continued to burn on all sides.

Containment, the percent of the fire’s boundary where officials believe the flames will no longer go beyond, stayed at 5%.

There were 265 firefighters and 38 engine companies assigned to the fire as of Wednesday morning.

This map shows where the Fairview fire is burning near Hemet

The U.S. Forest Service is now partnering with Cal Fire as the flames march toward federal lands.

Some 3,700 homes have been evacuated, and sheriff’s deputies are still going door to door as new areas are threatened.

“We ask for your cooperation,” said Sgt. Brandi Swan, a Sheriff”s Department spokeswoman. “We beg for your cooperation.”

Cal Fire spokesman Capt. Richard Cordova noted the speed of the flames that overtook three family members attempting to flee an Avery Canyon home on Monday and urged affected residents to leave now.

“If you think you have time to escape, you don’t,” Cordova said.

Officials urged residents to prepare an evacuation plan that includes a “go bag” with important documents, medicine and other needs.

Swan said the two people who perished were in a car; a woman was found burned outside the car on Avery Canyon Road. She was expected to survive, Swan said. The car was towed to be examined for evidence.

The evacuation zone spreads south from Highway 74, west of Mountain Center, north of Cactus Valley and toward Anza, north of Highway 371 to the forest boundary.

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