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Riverside County wildfire growing; three structures damaged

A wildfire at the base of the San Jacinto Mountains has grown to at least 125 acres and has damaged three structures, spreading to within a few miles of forest lands, authorities said.

Mandatory evacuations have been ordered in the sparsely populated area, said Jody Hagemann of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. Nine homes have been evacuated so far.

The fire, reported just before 1 p.m., has been spreading at moderate speed in the rocky hills and desert scrub near Buck and Lewis Valley roads. More than 210 firefighters were working to extinguish the blaze, and six water-carrying helicopters and six water-tender aircraft were actively assisting with the effort, CALFire officials said.

More resources were being summoned from elsewhere in the state, and fire officials were girding for an overnight battle.

The Inland Empire chapter of the American Red Cross opened an evacuation shelter in Temecula, at the community Recreation Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Road. 

There have been no reported injuries.

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-- Phil Willon in Riverside

 
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