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Hathaway wildfire near Banning burns nearly 2,000 acres

A wildfire spreading near the Morongo Indian Reservation in Riverside County is 25% contained and has burned nearly 2,000 acres, officials said Tuesday.

The Hathaway fire started just before noon Sunday in Hathaway Canyon and is burning through hills and trails in the San Gorgonio Wilderness northwest of Banning. The blaze is fueled by heavy, aged chaparral and timber made brittle by drought and bark beetles, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Crews fought the flames by air and ground overnight and used nearly a dozen bulldozers to try to cut a line around the fire. Six air tankers and 10 helicopters comprise the air assault while some 1,000 firefighters are attacking from the ground.

The steep terrain and dry fuel is making it tough for firefighters to attack the blaze directly.

Firefighters set up an incident command post at Noble Creek Park and have closed off the Vivian Creek Trail, but all other trails and roads remain open.

Traffic and visibility could be affected along a portion of the 10 Freeway near Oak Valley Parkway, officials said.

No structures were reported threatened overnight Monday. Officials predict it will take two weeks to fully contain the blaze. A spell of high temperatures, significant wind and low humidity could pose challenges in the coming days, officials said.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna

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