Evacuations Ordered After Fire Breaks Out Near Idyllwild

Local firefighters headed south to assist with fire in Riverside County

Crews battling 4700-acre Cranston fire in Idyllwild prompts mandatory evacuations

One of the fires erupted Wednesday afternoon and quickly spread to 7.5 square miles, fueled by dry brush and trees in rugged terrain.

Brandon N. Mc Glover of Temecula was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of starting the Cranston Fire which is still burning near Idyllwild.

As of 1:30 p.m., the blaze had spread to 100 acres and was 0 percent contained.

Firefighters from the USFS San Bernardino National Forest, Riverside County Fire Department of Cal Fire, and several local public safety agencies responded to a series of wildland fires on Wednesday.

The fire is one of several across California amid a statewide heat wave. Mr. McGlover was booked on five counts of arson, PC 451 ( c ).

The fast-moving blaze has so far burned five homes.

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Campgrounds in Idyllwild were also under evacuation orders, including Idyllwild Arts, Camp Maranatha, Idyllwild Pines, AstroCamp, Camp Emerson and Tahquitz Pines, according to the volunteer organization Mountain Disaster Preparedness, which runs the website idyllwildemergency.com.

Authorities ordered evacuations for a number of communities in the area, including Idyllwild, the Apple Canyon area, Mountain Center Community, the lake Helmet area and the Hurkey Creek area. Some 700 firefighters were at the scene east of Hemet on Thursday, where the brushfire was 5 percent contained as flames burned along Highway 74.

Hundreds of miles to the south, winds were absent over the fire in Southern California's San Jacinto Mountains. It was threatening an estimated 600 homes, authorities said.

However the air temperatures were expected to reach 91F (33C) amid 57 percent humidity, as temperatures continue to spiral on the U.S. west coast.

Most are in western states, with blazes also in central Texas and Wisconsin, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

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