The Fairview Fire ripping through Hemet, California, about 80 miles east of Los Angeles, has gone from burning 20 acres to at least 700 acres in the six hours since it ignited at around 2 p.m. local time one Monday, according to authorities. The Riverside County Fire Department said on Monday that at least seven structures have been destroyed in the inferno, which is only 5% contained.
“The fire is currently 700 acres and 5% contained. There have been 2 confirmed civilian fatalities and 1 civilian injury. 7 structures have been destroyed and several more damaged,” CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department said in a tweet, with an accompanying photo of the massive flames and billowing smoke from the blaze.
#FairviewFire [UPDATE] 7:45 pm – The fire is currently 700 acres and 5% contained. There have been 2 confirmed civilian fatalities and 1 civilian injury. 7 structures have been destroyed and several more damaged. pic.twitter.com/0zCfAevz5B
— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) September 6, 2022
An evacuation order affecting some 1,500 homes is in effect for residents in Hemet as the fire moves west. Riverside County authorities went door-to-door in the neighborhoods under evacuation orders alerting residents to get out.
Aerial footage from local outlet KTLA showed several homes engulfed in flames from the Fairview Fire, which started in the foothills of Hemet.
Thirty-three engine companies, seven fire crews, six air tankers and four helicopters have been tasked with combating the Fairview Fire, the Press-Enterprise reports.
Fire crews face temperatures expected to reach 108 degrees in Hemet on Tuesday and that hit 109 degrees on Monday as they battled the blaze.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.