Six homes are among the 15 structures destroyed by a raging wildfire in Riverside County, the U.S. Forest Service said Wednesday.
The Mountain fire near Idyllwild continued to expand at a furious pace, growing from 8,000 acres Tuesday to 14,200 acres Wednesday. The fire was 10% contained, officials said.
In an update Wednesday morning, the U.S. Forest Service said three mobile homes and three residences in Bonita Vista were destroyed.
In Pine Springs, the fire destroyed one commercial building, a workshop, a garage and a cabin.
Eleven other buildings and up to six vehicles also burned.
The fire started Monday afternoon near the junction of highways 243 and 74, burning east of Mountain Center and Apple Canyon.
The flames were burning through extremely dry, old chaparral and timber, officials said. Near-triple-digit temperatures since Monday have made it more difficult for firefighters.
“It’s hot, it’s dry, it’s windy and it’s really dry brush,” Forest Service spokesman Lee Beyer told the Times on Tuesday.
Much of the area on fire is inaccessible by road, he said. More than 2,200 firefighters and 25 aircraft are helping in the fight.
The fire was growing largely in the northeastern direction, Beyer said, and he expected it to continue at the same fast pace until it reaches a lower elevation that is more rocky and has less fuel.
Highway 243 is open in all directions. Camp Ronald McDonald and 24 homes in Apple Valley and Andrea Canyon Club have been evacuated.
A firefighter suffered a minor injury, officials said.