A fast-moving fire in Riverside County grew to 5,000 acres Wednesday and destroyed an undetermined number of homes and buildings.
The Silver fire forced the closure of Highway 243 and was burning in and around the communities of Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley, where authorities had issued mandatory evacuation orders within the last hour.
TV footage showed numerous buildings fully involved, but there was no immediate tally. The fire was 0% contained.
CalFire spokesman Daniel Berlant said incident commanders had a “significant number of fire engines that are assigned to structure defense.”
The fire was reported shortly after 2 p.m. and had consumed 300 acres by 4 p.m.
An evacuation center has been opened at Hemet High School, 41701 E Stetson Ave., in Hemet.
Nearly 500 firefighters were battling the blaze, as were four air tankers, five helicopters and two bulldozers, according to a CalFire spokesman.