Thursday, August 8, 2013

Southern California wildfire forces hundreds to evacuate

CBS News: A wildfire that broke out in the inland mountains of Southern California has expanded exponentially, burning homes, forcing the evacuation of several small mountain communities and leaving three people injured.

About 1,500 people had evacuated as the Silver Fire grew to more than 15 square miles, raging out of control in the San Jacinto Mountains near Banning, officials said. Three were injured, including two firefighters taken to hospitals by ambulance and a burned civilian who was airlifted out, state fire officials said. They would give no further details on the injuries.

CBS News correspondent Ben Tracy reported from Cabazon, Calif., on "CBS This Morning" Thursday that one thousand first responders and firefighters worked into the night using helicopters and tankers to combat the flames from above. The blaze remained uncontained Thursday morning.

The fire broke out shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. Within an hour, it had spread to 300 acres. It was believed to have reached 10,000 acres early Thursday....Flames burst through the desert region fueled by dry brush and raging wind gusts reaching 30 miles per hour. As smoke poured into neighboring towns, fire officials shut down highways and began evacuating residents....

From an August 2009 wildfire in Southern California, shot by EyeKarma, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license

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