Cranston Fire 96 Percent Contained; All Evacuations Lifted

IDYLLWILD (CNS) - A wildfire burning near Idyllwild was 96 percent contained today and all evacuation orders have been lifted.

The Cranston Fire has burned 13,139 acres, destroyed 12 buildings and damaged five others. It is expected to be fully contained Aug. 9.

The fire broke out just before noon on July 25 off Highway 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains between Hemet and Mountain Center, just east of the Cranston Fire Station. Three firefighters were injured last week battling the blaze, which authorities believe was deliberately set by a Temecula man who's also accused of setting eight other fires.

Brandon N. McGlover, 32, was arrested near Newport Road and State Street in Hemet about 12:30 p.m. the day the fire broke out and charged two days later with 15 felony counts. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $3.5 million bail pending a Sept. 24 felony settlement conference.

The cost of fighting the fire has been estimated at $20 million, with the final cost projected at $23 million, officials said.

About 170 firefighters remain assigned to the fire, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Some area roads remain closed. State Route 74 is closed from Hemet to state Route 74 at Lake View Drive, and state Route 243 is closed from Lower Saunders Meadow Road to state Route 74.

Residents, business owners and employees with proof of residency, business or employment are permitted north on route 243 to the Keenwild Fire Station and west on state Route 74 to McGaugh Road in Mountain Center.

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.

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.

Photo: Getty Images

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