BANNING (CBSLA) — A massive fire burning in Riverside County has scorched 15,000 acres and was at zero percent containment, firefighters said Sunday.
Flames roared overnight into the hillside and into the communities of Cherry Valley, Banning and into the San Bernardino National Forest. The fire, which is believed to have originated as three separate fires, broke out Friday afternoon along Apple Tree Lane and Oak Glen Road on the north end of the unincorporated community that borders Beaumont.
On Saturday, firefighters battled the intense flames from the air, utilizing fixed-wing aircraft. At least one home has burned, and several outbuildings. Evacuation orders and warnings remain in place, and include the following areas:
• North of Morongo Road East of Millard Canyon Road West of Whitewater Canyon Road (evacuation warning);
• Potato Canyon area west to Raywood Flat in San Bernardino County (evacuation order);
• North of Wilson Street east of Sunset Avenue and west of Hathaway Street (evacuation order);
• East of Oak Glen Road West of Banning Canyon Road and along Pine Beach Road (evacuation order);
• Potato Canyon Area West to Raywood Flat, in San Bernardino County (evacuation warning);
• North of Cherry Valley Blvd West of Highland Springs East of Beaumont Avenue (evacuation order);
• North of Gilman Street cross of Bluff Street (evacuation order);
• South of the County Line, North of Dutton Street and East of Oak Glen Road (evacuation order).
“We’re so scared of the fire catching up to the houses because we’re right under the mountains,” said Carlos Gomez, a resident. “We are praying for the best and see how it goes.”
“It was just like a really small cloud, and I saw a really big cloud of smoke. It’s like a hundred times bigger than it was … and that’s what scared me. I got all jittery and I was afraid for my mom and my nephew,” said Luis Gomez, another resident.
About 8,000 people have been evacuated. Displaced residents were being asked to go to Beaumont High School on Beaumont Avenue and Cherry Valley Boulevard. Pets were welcome.
To search your address to determine if you are affected by an evacuation warning or order, click here.
This is a breaking news story. Check back regularly for updates on the latest on the fire, containment, and evacuations.