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Mandatory Evacuations As Mountain Fire Burns 1,000 Acres

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textalerts180 Mandatory Evacuations As Mountain Fire Burns 1,000 Acres

IDYLLWILD (CBSLA.com) — A fire that broke out Monday afternoon near highways 74 and 243 between Idyllwild and Mountain Center has burned an estimated 1,000 acres and is 5 percent contained, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for approximately 20 homes in the Bonita Vista Community, and 4 homes in Fleming Ranch. The Living Free Animal Sanctuary is also under mandatory evacuation orders.

“It’s terrifying,” said resident Athena Geges. “I’ve never been that close to a fire before.”

Authorities said structures have been damaged, though the extent is unknown. Firefighters were still assessing damage as of Monday evening.

KCAL9’s Tom Wait reports that a Ronald McDonald’s summer camp for children in Mountain Center is being monitored for possible evacuation, though it was not in any imminent danger. School buses were standing by as of Monday evening.

The brush fire was first reported around 1:45p.m. and forced a closure of southbound Highway 74 between Cranston and Highway 243, between Idyllwild and Hemet.

Earlier in the day, county fire spokesman Mark Annas said about 300 firefighters, four helicopters, and six air tankers, as well as water tenders and bulldozers, had been sent to the fire.

Cooler temperatures and higher humidity should help firefighters, though winds up to 16mph continue to create gusty conditions.

An evacuation center has been established at Hemet High School, located at 41701 E. Stetson Ave.

An evacuation center for large and small animals was established at San Jacinto Animal Shelter at 581 South Grand Avenue in San Jacinto.

No injuries have been reported.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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