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3 Buildings Lost, 250 Evacuated in Southland Blaze

A large mountain home and two smaller buildings were destroyed by a raging wildfire that blackened more than 1,400 acres and caused the evacuation of about 250 homeowners and campers from a rugged foothill area 10 miles west of Mt. San Jacinto.

More than 600 firefighters from the state Division of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service battled flames in 100-plus temperatures and nearly impenetrable vegetation. They expected to surround the fire by daylight today. The blaze, which swept across the Poppet Flat area above Soboba Hot Springs in Riverside County, was believed started by sparks from a bulldozer.

The fire destroyed a $175,000 home in Poppet Flat and closed California 243 between Banning and Idyllwild. Three firefighters were hospitalized.

In Orange County, one of several fires caused the evacuation of about 200 campers in Featherly Regional Park in Yorba Linda. There was no major damage to property but 30-foot-high flames blackened more than 200 acres and destroyed belongings of homeless people who camped in the park.

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Several miles east, Brea police evacuated residents from the River Bend Apartments, a 50-unit complex, when fire swept over part of the Green River Golf Course. Billows of black smoke from the blaze caused bumper-to-bumper traffic for several hours on the Riverside Freeway. Evacuees were allowed to return late Friday.

Meanwhile, a 3,000-acre brush fire on Camp Pendleton started by tracer bullets was contained. To the north, 1,500 firefighters dug in along the Little Sur River trying to complete a firebreak around the 3,100-acre Big Sur fire, which has been burning since July 8.


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