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California

Brush fire burning into hills south of Banning, evacuations possible

A fire possibly ignited by target shooting has burned 75 acres south of Banning and was 0% contained, and evacuation warnings were in effect early Friday.

The non-injury Wolf Fire was reported at 5:08 p.m. Thursday in the area of Wolfskill Truck Road and Silver Creek Drive, just west of Poppet Flats and the western boundary of the San Bernardino National Forest, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Within 90 minutes, the blaze had burned 50 acres, the department reported. Evacuation warnings were issued for South Highland Springs, south of Interstate 10 and west of South Highland Home Road, including the Sun Lakes and Four Seasons communities. Residents were encouraged to leave immediately, the department said.

Because of the inhospitable terrain, crews encountered difficulties reaching the location, and a Cal Fire air tanker was initially alone in trying to contain the wind-driven brush fire. At least 140 firefighters from Riverside County, the Bureau of Land Management and San Bernardino National Forest and four air tankers worked to contain the fire.

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It was unclear if water drops were taking place overnight.

Witnesses reported several men target shooting in the area at the time and racing away in a dark-colored pickup when the flames started, officials said. No injuries were reported.


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