Southern California wildfires grow with little containment

California Wildfires
Posted at 8:02 AM, Sep 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 11:02:37-04

HEMET, Calif. (AP) — Two wildfires burned out of control in the inland Southern California region on Wednesday, forcing evacuations in communities and a mountain resort area.

The deadly Fairview Fire grew to nearly 8 square miles (20.7 square kilometers) near the city of Hemet in Riverside County, about 80 miles (129 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.

Cal Fire Battalion Chief Josh Janssen told a predawn briefing that the fire remained just 5% contained with “open fire on all sides of the fire still threatening several communities.”

The fire erupted Monday amid triple-digit heat and spread ferociously, killing two people who were found in a vehicle, severely burning another person while destroying seven structures and damaging several others.

“Unfortunately we aren’t able to positively identify the victims at this time but we do believe that they were from the same family,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Brandi Swan. “It appears as though the two victims that were found inside the vehicle were trying to flee from the fire.”

The injured person was identified only as a woman. Swan said she was expected to survive.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. Southern California Edison notified the California Public Utilities Commission that “circuit activity” occurred close in time to when the fire was reported, the Los Angeles Times said. The activity was not specified.

About 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the north, smoke loomed over ski runs in the San Bernardino Mountains as the Radford Fire fed on stands of timber south of the Big Bear Lake resort region.

The blaze had spread over about 1.5 square miles (3.8 square kilometers) since being spotted by a U.S. Forest Service helicopter crew Monday afternoon. It was just 2% contained as of Tuesday night.


Put together your emergency supply kit long before a wildfire or other disaster occurs and keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

Emergency Supply Kit Checklist:

  • Face masks or coverings
  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards, cash or traveler’s checks
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Don’t forget pet food and water!

Items to take if time allows:

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

Always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night.