A wildfire in the Cherry Valley area of Riverside County, California has spread to 4,125 acres prompting mandatory evacuation orders in several neighborhoods according to reports.
At least one home and two outbuildings have so far been destroyed by the Apple Fire. The fire began shortly before 5 p.m. Friday near Oak Glen Road and Apple Tree Lane. No injuries or deaths have been reported at the time of this report.
Responding firefighters in the air and on the ground have attempted to extinguish the flames in an effort to protect homes that were threatened, performing water drops from helicopters. Thus far the fire has remained 0% contained according to ABC7.
The fire is not believed to be started maliciously and is a result of heat on vegetation according to authorities at this time. However, the cause of the fire is open for investigation.
Evacuation orders are in place for residents north of Cherry Valley Boulevard, west of Highland Springs and east of Beaumont Avenue. They also include residents north of Gilman Street in the Banning Bluff area.
New evacuation orders were put in place Saturday afternoon in Banning for residents north of Wilson Street, east of Sunset Avenue and west of Hathaway Street.
An evacuation warning was issued about 11:15 a.m. for San Bernardino County residents of the Potato Canyon area west to Raywood Flat, authorities said.
ALERT RIVCO MESSAGE #AppleFire NEW EVACUATION ORDERS issued north of Wilson St, east of Sunset Ave and west of Hathaway St. Interactive map is now available at https://t.co/wMWj2KQQ7e @CALFIRERRU @RSO @CityofBanning @BanningPolice pic.twitter.com/WtnRDUx6Cx
— RivCoReady (@RivCoReady) August 1, 2020
Fernando Herrera, a press official for California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Riverside County Fire Department, stated Friday that about 1,000 residents had been ordered to evacuate at the time. Herrera further added that open land with thick vegetation has provided “quite a bit of fuel for that fire to continue to burn [and] have a lot of intensity.”
Herrera additionally said the fire was burning very close to homes and that some residents houses were at risk.
“A lot of people’s backyards were on fire,” Herrera said. “It ran in between homes and around homes. It definitely was very threatening. We could have lost homes, but we brought in a massive amount of ground resources to do structure defense, protect the life and property of all these residents.”
Since that update, a Twitter account for the California Riverside County Fire Department has said that number has increased to 2,586 homes or an approximate of 7,800 people under evaucation orders.
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) August 2, 2020
Several videos uploaded to Twitter appears to show firefighters trying to douse the blaze using a number of methods.
— Michael Barthel (@RealMiBaWi) August 1, 2020
— Douglas (@rubidug) August 1, 2020
The Desert Sun reports that there are over 375 firefighters with five air tankers, four helicopters and three bulldozers trying to fight and control the blaze, which has grown to more than 6 miles. Massive plumes of smoke were seen above the sunny state on social media engulfing the sky.
The county Riverside website has an official map for evacuation orders that is constantly being updated with new orders to vacate. This is a breaking news story check back for future updates.