Gov. Jerry Brown on Friday declared a state of emergency in Riverside County so that victims of the Silver fire can be eligible for federal disaster aid.
As of Friday evening, the fire was about 40% contained. It has burned 18,000 acres, destroyed 26 homes and injured six people, including five firefighters in the dry, rugged hills south of Banning.
Residents and RV campers have been cleared to return to most of the evacuated areas. California 243 remains closed from Poppet Flats Road to Wesley Street.
The governor's emergency declaration is required for fire victims to receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.