(KGTV) - The Cranston Fire in Riverside County, which was believed to have been sparked by an alleged arsonist, is holding steady early Thursday morning after burning thousands of acres and destroying numerous homes.
The fire near Idyllwild has burned 7,500 acres and is five percent contained as of 4:30 p.m. Thursday, according to San Bernardino forest officials.
The blaze broke out just before 12 p.m. Wednesday near Highway 74 and Control Road in Hemet, a town west of Palm Springs. Authorities called for the evacuation of Idyllwild, Apple Canyon, Lake Hemet, Mountain Center, Hurkey Creek, Fern Valley, Pine Cove, and Cedar Glen.
Northside of Garner Valley, and all homes accessed from roads north of Hialeah Way, south of Hialeah through south of Hwy 371 are also under evacuation.
The Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp and Palm Springs Aerial Tramway were also forced to evacuate.
Cal Fire, Riverside County Fire and San Bernardino National Forest crews are battling the fire. Cal Fire crews from San Diego, as well as San Diego Fire-Rescue and Lakeside Fire personnel, have joined the firefighting effort.
While the cause of the fire is under investigation, authorities arrested 32-year-old Temecula resident Brandon N. McGlover on suspicion of intentionally setting multiple fires in Riverside County, including the Cranston Fire.
According to ABC7 in Los Angeles, McGlover was booked into jail on five counts of arson.
Here is an experimental outlook for near surface smoke dispersion today from the Cranston Fire. The model suggests much of the Coachella Valley, including Palm Springs may again experience some degradation in air quality and/or visibility due to smoke. #Cawx #cranstonfire pic.twitter.com/NPP6V4Bcty
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) July 26, 2018
Evacuees looking for where to bring large pets are asked to call the Riverside County Dept. of Animal Services at 951-358-7387, and to stay on the line through their recording to be transferred to their emergency line.
Road closures have been implemented at:
- HWY 74 from City of Hemet to Lake Hemet
- HWY 243 from Banning to intersection of 243 and HWY 74
Recreation closures have been issued for:
- Humber Park
- Lake Hemet Picnic Area
- Marion Mountain Campground
- Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) N of State Hwy 74
- Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout
- Dark Canyon Campground
- Black Mountain Group Campground
- Boulder Basin Campground
- Devil’s Slide Trail
- Fern Basin Campground
An evacuation center has been established at Banning High School, located at 100 W. Westward Ave in Banning. The school is open for residents, to reunify with campers, and for small and large animals. San Jacinto High School is also open for large animals.
Smoke from the massive fire could be seen from North San Diego County. The National Weather Service San Diego tweeted out a photo of the plume of smoke seen from their Rancho Bernardo office:
— NWS San Diego (@NWSSanDiego) July 25, 2018