Valley News -

By Kim Harris
Managing Editor 

UPDATED: Cranston Fire at 12,300 acres, containment at 16%, protective order announced

 

Last updated 8/10/2018 at 10:05am

Shane Gibson

Fire crews head out to battle the Cranston Fire near Hurkey Creek Park along Hwy 74 during day two of the wildfire, July 26.

UPDATE: July 27, 10 p.m.

Officials with San Bernardino National Forest late today announced a forest order creating the Cranston Fire Closure Area. The order was prepared in order to protect natural resources and ensure public safety in the area where the fire has scorched 12,300 acres and displaced more than 6,000 evacuees.

At last report, fire officials say they have 16% containment.

The order is effective July 28 through Aug. 31 and prohibits individuals or groups being on lands, trails or roads within the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest.

Only federal, state or local officers, members of an organized rescue or firefighting forces, and persons with an authorized permit are allowed in the area.

Violation of these restrictions is "punishable by a fine of not more than $5,000 for an individual or $10,000 for an organization or imprisonment for not more than six months, or both," according to the order.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 27, 7 p.m.

Fire officials are saying the fire has expanded to more than 12,300 acres but insist that fire crews are turning the corner and have about 16% containment.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the weather is a concern heading into the weekend with continued hot and dry conditions with westerly winds each afternoon and evening.

An evacuation warning has been issued for Paradise Corner.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 27, 3 p.m.

The Cranston Fire is at approximately 11,500 acres with 3 percent containment, according to the U.S. Forest Service as of 3 p.m. The suspected arsonist, Brandon McGlover of Temecula, today entered not guilty pleas to the 15 felony counts, according to the Riverside County District Attorney's office. McGlover's next court date is Sept. 21 and a judge set his bail at $3.5 million.

A new evacuation center has opened at the Hamilton High School, and the care and reception center is located at 5743 Mitchell Road in Anza. The facility is open to residents displaced by the fires and/or who are experiencing power outages.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a smoke advisory in effect until Saturday morning.

Areas of direct smoke impacts and unhealthful may include the metropolitan Riverside area, Perris Valley, Anza, Hemet/San Jacinto Valley,, the Banning Pass and the Coachella Valley.

Also today, Senator Jeff Stone (R-Riverside County), toured the fire zone, accompanied by officials from Cal Fire this morning to learn about the progress being made on the fire.

I want to express my sympathy to the families who have been displaced and harmed by this most recent tragic event" Sen. Stone said in a released statement. "I stand ready to work with you to provide the help and assistance you need and deserve, and I will continue to do everything I can to help you in this time of need."

To see photos by Valley News freelance phototgrapher Scott Padgett and staff photographer Shane Gibson, visit www.myvalleynews.com/photos/07_27_2018

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 27, 10 a.m.

As of 10 a.m., the Cranston Fire, suspected to have been started by arson, has expanded to approximately 11,500 acres with 3 percent containment. As many as 1,393 personnel are working the fire that has prompted road closures and the evacuation of 6,000 people in Mountain Center, Idyllwild, Hurkey Creek, San Jacinto Mountain State Park, Fern Valley, Pine Cove, Cedar Glen and the northern section of Garner Valley, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The 32-year-old arson suspect, Brandon N. McGlover of Temecula, is suspected of setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside

County, including the Cranston Fire. He was booked into the Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of five counts of arson to wildland, five counts of arson to an inhabited structure and three counts of maliciously setting a fire. Jail records show McGlover is expected to appear in court in Murrieta today.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 26, 10:30 p.m.

Two firefighters were injured battling the massive Cranston fire – believed to have been sparked by arson Wednesday, July 25 – but the extent of their injuries was unknown.

To date, the blaze has charred 7,500 acres and forced thousands to flee their homes in an attempt to escape the flames.

According to the most recent update issued by the U.S. Forest Service, 6,000 people have been evacuated from the more than 4,000 structures that are threatened by the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for Apple Canyon Area, Cedar Glen, Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp, Fern Valley, Hurkey Creek Area, Idyllwild, Lake Hemet Area, Mountain Center Community, Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Pine Cove and the north side of Garner Valley.

An evacuation warning was issued for all homes south of Hialeah, including those accessed from Hialeah, through just south of Highway 371.

An evacuation center has been setup at Banning High School at 100 W. Westward Ave.

Currently, there are 1,063 personnel battling the blaze.

Road closures are in effect for Highway 74 from city of Hemet to Lake Hemet and Highway 243 from Banning to intersection of 243 and Highway 74.

Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency due to the fire, opening the door for State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering, and makes response and recovery funding available for those affected by the blaze.

In a video posted to Twitter shortly before 8 p.m., Jack Cooke Operations section chief with California Emergency Management team, gave an operational update. Cooke said the west wall of the fire continues to hold as does the area surrounding homes in the Idyllwild area. The Cranston fire is currently at 5 percent containment.

"We found most of our fire activity pushed up toward the top into the wilderness boundary," he said, adding that the fire continued to move eastward.

"We are continuing to look for opportunities to take advantage of that," he said.

Along the southeastern area of the blaze firefighters experienced growth that pushed into the Mountain Center and Apple Valley area, he said.

"We will continue our suppression efforts through the night," Cooke said.

Meanwhile to the east of the Cranston fire, the Ribbon fire, first reported earlier this afternoon continues to grow in size. Now at 200 acres and only 5 percent containment, evacuations due to the Ribbon fire are still in place for Alpine Village, Pinyon Crest and Pinyon Pines.

A fire information call center for the public has been established at (909) 383-5688.

J.P. Raineri, Jeff Pack and Tony Ault contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 26, 8:30 p.m.

A fast-moving wildfire, which was believed to have been sparked by arson, tore through the mountain community of Idyllwild amid scorching temperatures over the past two days, forcing thousands to flee their homes under mandatory evacuations. The list of areas being evacuated in the Cranston Fire continues to grow according to a 7 p.m. update by the San Bernardino National Forest Public Information Office.

Areas added to the mandatory evacuation list earlier today include the northside of Garner Valley and all homes accessed from roads north of Hialeah Way. These evacuations are in addition to evacuations already ordered for Apple Canyon Area, Cedar Glen, Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp, Fern Valley, Hurkey Creek Area, Idyllwild, Lake Hemet Area, Mountain Center Community, Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Pine Cove.

All homes south of Hialeah, including those accessed from Hialeah, are under an evacuation warning through just south of Highway 371.

According to an incident report issued by the San Bernardino National Forest Public Information Office, 2,174 homes were evacuated. An estimated 3,200 people fled the mountain communities as the fast-moving blaze spread across the area.

An evacuation center has been setup at Banning High School at 100 W. Westward Ave.

Currently, there are 1,063 personnel battling the blaze.

Road closures are in effect for Highway 74 from city of Hemet to Lake Hemet and Highway 243 from Banning to intersection of 243 and Highway 74.

Earlier today, Governor Jerry Brown declared a State of Emergency due to the fire, opening the door for State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering, and makes response and recovery funding available for those affected by the blaze.

In a video posted to Twitter shortly before 8 p.m., Jack Cooke Operations section chief with California Emergency Management team, gave an operational update. Cooke said the west wall of the fire continues to hold as does the area surrounding homes in the Idyllwild area. The Cranston fire is currently at 5 percent containment.

"We found most of our fire activity pushed up toward the top into the wilderness boundary," he said, adding that the fire continued to move eastward.

"We are continuing to look for opportunities to take advantage of that," he said.

Along the southeastern area of the blaze firefighters experienced growth that pushed into the Mountain Center and Apple Valley area, he said.

"We will continue our suppression efforts through the night," Cooke said.

Meanwhile to the east of the Cranston fire, the Ribbon fire, first reported earlier this afternoon continues to grow in size. Now at 200 acres and only 5 percent containment, evacuations due to the Ribbon fire are still in place for Alpine Village, Pinyon Crest, and Pinyon Pines.

J.P. Raineri, Jeff Pack, and Tony Ault contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 26, 5 p.m.

The Cranston fire is currently at 7,500 acres and growing. Containment is still at 5 percent. All evacuations and road closures remain in place. A reminder for displaced Cranston Fire evacuees: Riverside County Animal Services' shelter in San Jacinto is still open to assist families. Fees are waived for evacuees. The department's number is 951-358-7387.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 26, 1:30 p.m.

Governor Jerry Brown has declared a State of Emergency due to the Cranston fire which began Wednesday, July 25 east of Hemet in the San Bernardino National Forest. Arson is believed to be the cause.

The declaration opens the door for State aid to supplement local resources in preventing or alleviating damages, loss, hardship or suffering, and makes response and recovery funding available for those affected by the blaze.

There is no new information on the fire itself at this time.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: July 26, 12:30 p.m.

The Cranston fire is currently at 4,700 acres and growing. Containment is at 5 percent containment, all evacuations and road closures remain in place.

"We are in our initial attack phase which means it is a little chaotic here (at ICP Lake Hemet)," San Bernardino National Forest Assistant Public Information Officer Kate Krater said."The Forest Service is throwing everything they have at it and the firefighters out there are not necessarily looking at how much acreage has burned."

She said there are, at last count 688 firefighters on line with strike teams coming and going.

"Tonight an Incident Management Team will be coming in to take command of the fire," Krater said.

EVACUATIONS;

Evacuations are still in place for Idyllwild, Mountain Center, Fern Valley, Lake Hemet, Apple Canyon, Hurkey Creek and Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp. Cedar Glen and Pine Cove have been added to the growing list.

An Evacuation Center has been opened at Banning High School, 100 W. Westward Ave. in Banning. The High School will also serve as the reunification center for those camping in the area.

Large animals can be dropped off to Dysart Equestrian Park - 2101 W Victory Ave. in Banning.

Small Animals can also be dropped off at Dysart Equestrian Park - 2101 W. Victory Ave. in Banning. Animal Services will transfer them to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. All animals (large and small) also accepted at San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus.

Residents can call (951) 358-7329 for direct assistance with moving animals.

Lions Field in Anza is also open for evacuees, Mimi Brown, Anza Lions president said.

Lions Field is located at 39551 Kirby Road in Anza.

ROAD CLOSURES:

Road Closures along Highway 74 from the city of Hemet to Lake Hemet and Highway 243 from Banning to the intersection of Highway 74, remain in place.

RECREATION CAMPGROUNDS AND HIKING TRAIL CLOSURES

Recreation campgrounds & hiking trail closures include Desert View Trail, Round Valley Trail, San Jacinto Peak Trail and Wellmans Divide Trail in Mt. San Jacinto State Park. San Bernardino National Forest closures include Dark Canyon Campground, Black Mountain Group Campground, Boulder Basin Campground, Devil's Slide Trail, Fern Basin Campground, Humber Park, Lake Hemet Picnic Area and

Marion Mountain Campground. The Pacific Crest Trail north of Highway 74 and Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout are also closed at this time.

AIR QUALITY ALERTS:

The South Coast Air Quality Management District has issued a new smoke advisory due to heavy and drifting smoke from the Cranston Fire burning east of Hemet in the San Bernardino National Forest. The advisory will remain in effect through Friday morning.

Areas of direct smoke impacts and Unhealthful air quality may include Anza, the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley, Banning Pass, the Coachella Valley and Perris Valley.

According to SCAQMD, winds will be from the west/southwest this afternoon before transitioning to a light west to northwesterly wind during the evening and overnight hours. Peak wind speeds will occur in the late afternoon to early evening with the onshore winds. "This may bring smoke into portions of Riverside County, including the Coachella Valley," a press release issued by the agency said. "During the overnight and early morning hours, drainage winds might bring smoke into the valleys west of the fire. Air quality may reach Unhealthy levels or higher in areas directly impacted by smoke."

POWER OUTAGES:

According to the Idyllwild Emergency Twitter page, cellphone service will be affected due to the fire which has charred 4,700 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

"Cellphones and internet connections are or will soon be down due to lack of electricity for the towers. You may not hear from friends/family," the tweet said.

So Cal Edison has turned off power to the area at the request of firefighters battling the blaze, a post on the agency's website said.

"SCE Fire Management is currently on the scene of the Cranston Fire and working closely with local fire agencies to monitor the situation," SCE said. "We de-energized circuits in the Cranston Fire area at the request of the fire service. This was not the result of activating a Public Safety Power Shutoff- rather it was done to help ensure first responder safety in the area."

As of 9 a.m., SCE had 4,000 customers without service due to the Cranston Fire.

In Anza, 5,200 customers of the Anza Electric Cooperative are also without power.

"There are indications that circuits serving the area have sustained significant damage, but as of now SCE has not been granted access to the fire areas due to safety concerns and does not have access to assess the damage," SCE said.

Those in the Anza area without power are invited to go to the Community Hall, located at 56630 Highway 371 in Anza.

"The Community Hall will be open with power and AC courtesy of the AEC," according to a Facebook post on to Anza Aguanga Alerts and Real Time News.

Approximately 2 miles of power lines were damaged in the fire, causing the outage.

A call to AEC revealed that several locations in the area are open for business and are available for those who need a place to cool down.

According to AEC Member Services Manager Katherine McIver, Cahuilla Casino and Cali Produce Market at 56480 Highway 371, are also open in addition to the Community Hall.

McIver said plans are in place to bring four large generators to town to help relieve the situation.

"Currently, we have four large generators lined up for this afternoon so that we can bring up certain areas to run for an hour or so a few times a day," she said. "We're hoping to bring up certain areas beginning sometime late this afternoon."

A town hall meeting will be held tonight at the Anza Community Hall at 7 p.m.

SCE representatives say that power could be out for a "protracted period of time."

Tony Ault contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

ORIGINAL STORY:

A fast-moving wildfire, which was believed to have been sparked by arson, tore through the mountain community of Idyllwild amid scorching temperatures yesterday, forcing thousands to flee their homes under mandatory evacuations for the entire town and areas surrounding it.

The Cranston fire, which was first reported Wednesday, July 26, quickly charred 4,700 acres and forced evacuations for the entire mountain area, including Idyllwild, Pine Cove, Mountain Center, Fern Valley, Lake Hemet, Apple Canyon and Hurkey Creek. Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp was also evacuated.

According to an incident report issued by the San Bernardino National Forest Public Information Office, 2,174 homes were evacuated. An estimated 3,200 people fled the mountain communities as the fast-moving blaze spread across the area.

Evacuations are still in place for Idyllwild, Mountain Center, Fern Valley, Lake Hemet, Apple Canyon, Hurkey Creek and Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp, San Bernardino National Forest Public Information Officer Rebecca Miller said.

CaFire law enforcement announced the arrest of a Temecula man that witnesses identified as being in the area "near the origin" of the blaze. Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula, is suspected of setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County, including the one that became the Cranston Fire, authorities said. He was booked into the Cois M. Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of five counts of arson to wildland. Additional allegations are possible as the investigation continues, according to CalFire.

At last report, at least five homes were lost to the fire and more than 600 homes are still threatened as firefighters continue to battle the blaze amid dry, hot conditions.

Road Closures along Highway 74 from the city of Hemet to Lake Hemet and Highway 243 from Banning to the intersection of Highway 74, remain in place.

Authorities also issued a smoke advisory for the region, advising that winds could bring smoke into various parts of Riverside County, including the Coachella Valley, Banning Pass, the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley, Perris Valley and Anza. The advisory will be in effect through Thursday morning.

The fire is currently being reported at 5 percent containment, according to fire officials.

Nearly 700 firefighters remain on the scene battling the blaze.

EVACUATION INFORMATION:

Shane Gibson

The remains of a structure burns near Mountain Center during day two of the Cranston Fire on Mt San Jacinto, July 26.

An Evacuation Center has been opened at Banning High School, 100 W. Westward Ave. in Banning. The High School will also serve as the reunification center for those camping in the area.

Large animals can be dropped off to Dysart Equestrian Park - 2101 W Victory Ave. in Banning.

Small Animals can also be dropped off at Dysart Equestrian Park - 2101 W. Victory Ave. in Banning. Animal Services will transfer them to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus. All animals (large and small) also accepted at San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus.

Residents can call (951) 358-7329 for direct assistance with moving animals.

Lions Field in Anza is also open for evacuees, Mimi Brown, Anza Lions president said.

Lions Field is located at 39551 Kirby Road in Anza.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

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