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Updated: 10:45 p.m.
The Mountain Fire has changed direction, causing officials to declare evacuation for residents of Idyllwild and Fern Valley. (Full evacuation notices below, based upon supplied list, updated at 7:20 p.m via InciWeb
As of Wednesday evening, over 19,400 acres have burned, leaving a mere 15% contained, according to officials.
Almost 3,000 firefighters have gathered to fight the blaze, including multiple trucks, helicopters, planes, and even a DC-10 have reported to tackle this incident.
The Mountain Fire has destroyed three homes, three mobile homes, and one home received partial damage. At last report, eleven outbuildings, and up to six cars were also burned.
The command unit, led by Pincha-Tulley, stressed in their report that “though homes and buildings were lost, many more were saved by fire crews.” Another point stressed was the importance of clearing around homes and buildings, creating a defensible space. “…proper clearances and fuels abatements always give firefighters better opportunities to successfully defend and save those homes, especially when defending those homes in the face of an advancing fire front.”
Immediate Update – The Trails End Community at the very top of Morris Ranch Road is under an immediate Evacuation Notice!
According to the Riverside County Sheriff, under cooperation with the Idyllwild Fire Protection District, the following areas are under evacuation notice:
Areas NOT under an evacuation notice this does NOT include:
The Mountain Fire encroaches on the communities of Idyllwild, no longer a wind driven fire, “but a fuel and topography driven fire.”
With the changing conditions, the direction of the fire has changed. According to the reports on InciWeb: “This necessitates the evacuation as the fire moved to the west this afternoon and presents a threat to nearby communities. With vegetation moistures at record lows fire spread has been extreme and dangerous.”
This is the best choice in a difficult situation. The highest priority is to protect the lives of citizens in the immediate area of the blaze.
Every possible effort is being taken to slow the fire and prepare to halt its progress. Firefighters continue to fight the fire on the ground and with helicopters and fixed wing aircraft. Additional crews are improving contingency lines west of the fire where they may be afforded the opportunity to stop the fires advance.
Note: As of 6 p.m. July 17, Residents out of the area and need to return to evacuate family and retrieve valuables will be allowed through road closures with proper identification.
Hwy 74 to Hemet
Hwy 243 to Banning
Hwy 74 south to Anza, Palm Desert
State Highway 74 between the Pepper Trees to State Highway 371.
State Route 243 at Banning.
Highway 243 is under a soft closure from Banning South to Mountain Center; Highway 74 is under a soft closure from the Cranston Fire Station near Valle Vista east to the junction with Highway 371. A soft closure is in place to allow residents access to gather items from their homes or properties.
Mandatory evacuation orders are still in effect for the Andreas Canyon Club, south of Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, for Bonita Vista, Pine Springs, and the Zen Mountain Center off of Apple Canyon Road, and Trails End at the North end of Morris Ranch Road.
Camp Ronald McDonald and Camp Joe Sherman have been voluntarily evacuated due to health concerns related to air quality.