Fairview fire near Hemet held in check; containment edges up to 43% – San Bernardino Sun

Tropical Storm Kay helped firefighters keep the Fairview fire near Hemet in check Saturday, as there was no reported growth, authorities said.

The fire, burning near Hemet, remained at 28,307 acres with 40% containment, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department officials said in a 7 a.m. update. By Saturday evening, the fire remained at 28,307 acres with containment up to 43%.

“Lingering tropical moisture brought cloudy, cooler and moist conditions to the fire on Saturday,” the fire agency said in a statement.

Deep-seated heat is still present in the dense old-growth brush fields and stump holes, the fire agency said.

The number of structures threatened was reduced to 8,764 as of Saturday morning, officials said. By Saturday evening, that number was down to 2,462.

Easterly winds that proved a challenge for firefighters Friday afternoon were weaker overnight, officials said.

The fire was first reported about 3:40 p.m. Monday and rapidly spread, killing two people and injuring a third after their car wouldn’t start while trying to evacuate, according to a relative.

The fire has destroyed 17 structures and damaged four others. Fire officials did not say whether any of the structures were homes.

More than 2,200 firefighters were working the blaze, a number that nearly doubled the day after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency. Those firefighters were getting help from 16 helicopters and numerous firefighting air tankers, officials said.

That’s allowed for some evacuation orders to be reduced to warnings, including areas south of Diamond Valley Lake, east of Rancho California Road, east of Anza Road, north of Temecula Parkway, northwest of Highway 371 and west of Highway 74, officials said. It also included the community of Ramona Village and Olivet University.

On Saturday, evacuation orders were reduced to warnings in areas west of the U.S. forest boundary, north of Wilson Valley Road, east and west of Sage Road, north of East Benton Road, east of De Portola Road, south of Cactus Valley Road, south of Stanley Road, east of State Street, south of Stetson Avenue, west of Fairview Avenue and north of the fire perimeter and Cactus Valley Road. The downgrades were also in place for Gibble Road, Polly Butte Road, Avery Canyon Road and Arvidson Road.

All other evacuation orders and road closures remained in place Saturday. Evacuation centers at Tahquitz High School, 4425 Tital Trail, and Temecula Community Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Road, remained open.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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