IDYLLWILD (CNS) - A wildfire near Idlyllwild that has burned 13,139 acres, destroyed 12 buildings and damaged five others was 89 percent contained today, with full containment expected on Aug. 9.
Nearly 900 firefighters battled the Cranston Fire, focused on holding and patrolling all containment lines and suppressing all fire sources located within 200 feet of containment lines, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
Crews have taken advantage of good humidity in the evening and early morning hours to reduce the spread of the flames, officials said.
Residents of the Mountain Center, Bonita Vista, Apple Canyon, Hurkey Creek and the surrounding areas remain evacuated, but fire officials continue to evaluate whether to allow them to return.
Emergency management officials warned those entering previously evacuated areas to watch for charred trees, utility poles and other debris on the roads. Residents were also advised to throw away perishable food because of the loss of refrigeration.
All U.S. Forest Service lands in the San Jacinto Ranger District and the adjacent Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument were ordered closed to public entry for 30 days. Highway 74 remains closed from Hemet city limits to Lake View Drive. Highway 243 is closed from Lower Saunders Meadow Road to the intersection with Highway 74.
Three firefighters were injured battling the blaze, which began just before noon Wednesday off Highway 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains between Hemet and Mountain Center, just east of the Cranston Fire Station.
Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, was arrested about 12:30 p.m. Wednesday near Newport Road and State Street in Hemet and charged Friday with 15 felony counts, including starting the Cranston Fire. He pleaded not guilty and is due back in court Sept. 24 for a felony settlement conference. He is being held in lieu of $3.5 million bail.
Several campgrounds and hiking areas within San Jacinto Mountains State Park remain closed. The public can call (909) 383-5688 for information on the closures.
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