BEAUMONT, Calif. (AP) — A wildfire northwest of Palm Springs flared up Saturday, with evacuation orders for thousands of people as firefighters fought the blaze in triple-degree heat.
An unspecified number of homes were in the path of the flames but were not in imminent danger, CalFire captain Fernando Herrera told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
The blaze, which began as two adjacent fires, was reported shortly before 5 p.m. Friday in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the city of Beaumont in Riverside County. Flames leapt along brushy ridge tops and came close to homes while some 375 firefighters attacked it from the ground and air, authorities said.
The blaze, dubbed the Apple Fire, doubled in size overnight and is over 18 square miles. About 7,800 people have been told to evacuate over 2,500 homes, according to fire officials. Hundreds of people in foothill neighborhoods north of Beaumont fell under mandatory evacuation orders.