News Update!!: Idyllwild, CA: Wildfire burning near Idyllwild, California.

News Update!!: Idyllwild, CA: Wildfire burning near Idyllwild, California.

A wildfire being called the, “Mountain Fire” continues to burn Tuesday in the mountains near Idyllwild, California.

The wildfire was reported at 1:43pm PT on Monday, July 15th, 2013 near the junction of Highway 243 and Highway 74 near Idyllwild, California.

The wildfire has burned 14,200 acres and is at 10 percent contained as of 10:45am PT on Wednesday morning.

About 2210 firefighters are  battling the wildfire including 128 fire department trucks, 16 helicopters, 10 fixed wing aircraft including a DC-10, 36 hand crews, 8 water tenders, and 12 dozers.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire at around 6:00pm PT on Tuesday, July 16th, 2013.

According to the United States Forest Service Officials, the wildfire was currently burning east of the Mountain Center and Apple Canyon Areas.

The wildfires is burning in very steep and rugged terrain in the southern portion of the San Jacinto Wilderness along the Desert Divide and in the Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista Areas.

The cause of the wildfire is under investigation.

**** Wildfire Damages: ****

A damage assessment has been completed for the Bonita Vista, Pine Springs and Zen Mountain Center areas.

** The wildfire has damaged or destroyed the following: **

– In the Bonita Vista area: 3 mobile homes and 3 residences were destroyed, a residence sustained damage.

– In the Pine Springs area: a commercial building, a workshop, garage, and cabin were destroyed.

– In the Zen Mountain Center area: No damages.

In addition to the above list of residences, there were a total of 11 outbuildings and between 4 to 6 vehicles destroyed.

It is important to note that while homes and buildings were destroyed or damaged, firefighters were able to defend and save a larger number of homes.

** It is always important to remind homeowners that homes and building with proper clearances and fuels abatements always give firefighters better opportunities to successfully defend and save those homes, especially when defending those homes in the face of an advancing fire front. **

**** Mandatory Evacuation: ****

– Mandatory Evacuation orders are still in effect for the Andreas Canyon Club, south of Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs, California and for Bonita Vista, Pine Springs, and the Zen Mountain Center off of Apple Canyon Road.

– Camp Ronald McDonald and Camp Joe Sherman have been voluntarily evacuated due to health concerns related to air quality.

**** Emergency Evacuation Shelters: ****

– The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at Hemet High School located at 41701 East Stetson Avenue in Hemet, California.

– The American Red Cross has also opened a shelter at Hamilton High School located at 57430 Mitchell Road in Anza, California which can accept small animals.

– Small animals can be brought to the SanJacinto Animal Shelter located at 581 South Grand Avenue in San Jacinto, California.

– A large and small animal shelter has been opened at Lake Hemet Campground located at 56570 Highway 74 in Mountain Center, California.

** Wildfire Contact Information: **

– Individuals or groups with overnight or advance day use permits into the San Jacinto Wilderness are advised to call the San Jacinto Ranger Station at: 1 (909) 382-2921.

** Traffic Alert!!: Wildfire Road, Highways, and Interstate Closures: **

– Highway 243 is closed between Saunders Meadow Road and the junction of Highway 74, but highway 74 remaisn open.

– The Pacific Crest Trail is closed from Highway 74 north to Saddle Junction.

– All of the trails connection to the Pacific Crest Trail are closed as well, including South Ridge Trail, Carumba Trail, Spitler Peak Trail, Fobes Trail, and Cedar Springs.

– Hurkey Creek County Camground, and all of the hiking and mountain biking trails out of Hurkey creek and May Valley are closed.

– United States Forest Service areas south of Highway 74 remain open (Thomas Mountain, Santa Rosa and the Forest Service Day Use Area along Lake Hemet).

** Visitors should remain cautions when driving; Air quality is not good in some of these areas. **

** To access the areas of Pine Cove and Idyllwild as well as areas west on Highway 243, you can take Highway 243 to those areas. **

**** Stay tuned to ZachNews for news updates with more information regarding this news story. ****


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