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Wildfire burning out of control in Banning; homes threatened [Updated]

September 7, 2011 |  4:13 pm

Wildfire burns in Banning

A 50-acre wildfire is threatening two homes near the Riverside County city of Banning, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

More than 220 firefighters have been called in to battle the blaze, which was reported just before 2 p.m. near San Gorgonio Avenue and Old Banning-Idyllwild Road at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains.

The wildfire is burning out of control, with no containment, in sweltering, 106-degree temperatures, according to a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

Fire crews from Riverside and San Diego counties, the U.S. Forest Service and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians are battling the fire.

[Updated, 4:34 p.m.:  Fire officials say the wildfire burning in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains near Banning is now 50% contained.  Full containment is expected by midnight, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials.

The blaze has burned 50 acres. The 220 firefighters called in have beaten the flames back from two homes that were threatened.]

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-- Phil Willon in Riverside

Photo: A wildfire burns in Banning. Credit: California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection

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