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Beaumont brush fire consumes 2000 acres

Firefighters were struggling to contain a wildfire in a remote area south of Beaumont that had grown to 2,000 acres Saturday night.

"The terrain is extremely steep and rocky and difficult to access from the ground," said Capt. Rick Griggs with CAL Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

The fire, first reported at 1:20 p.m., was driven by steady winds of 10 to 12 mph with gusts of 15 to 20 mph or more, he said.

Griggs said he did not expect the fire to threaten any homes, but it could threaten a site that houses communications equipment.

Firefighters are battling the blaze from the air with helicopters and air tankers as well as on the ground. A total of 285 firefighters were on scene. Griggs said he did not expect to have the blaze fully contained Saturday night. 

Officials from the California Department of Transportation earlier said part of State Route 79 might be closed due to the fire, but as of 7:30 p.m., the highway remained open.


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