Fire in Banning grows to 200 acres; evacuation center opens
More than 400 firefighters are battling a wind-fanned fire near Banning that spread to 200 acres Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The blaze, dubbed the Summit fire, flared near North San Gorgonio Road and Summit Drive shortly after 12:30 p.m., according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection and the Riverside County Fire Department. Three hours later, it had spread to 200 acres and was 0% contained.
Six helicopters and six air tankers were being used in the attack, the agencies said, along with bulldozers and ground crews.
Residents on Indian School Lane and part of 8th Street had been evacuated, the agencies reported. An evacuation center was opened at the Banning Community Services Center, and Riverside County Animal Services said it was prepared to handle any animals affected by the blaze.
Red flag warnings were issued Wednesday across Southern California as heat and dry winds were expected to turn Los Angeles and Ventura County mountains and valleys into a tinderbox.
The National Weather Service said the red flag warnings would be in effect through Thursday for the mountains of Los Angeles and Ventura counties, the Santa Monica Mountains, the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys and Ventura County valleys.
Wind advisories also were in effect for mountains across Southern California, with gusts expected up to 55 mph in the mountains and 45 mph in the valleys.
Temperatures are expected to climb the rest of the week and could peak at near 100 degrees Friday in Los Angeles.
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