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Wildfire forces evacuations south of Hemet

August 14, 2012 |  3:35 pm

Approximate location of fire shown in red.

A small wildfire in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains south of Hemet has damaged three homes and burned more than 100 acres, authorities said.

The fire is burning out of control, spreading at a moderate rate of speed, in a desolate area of rocky hills and desert scrub. Evacuations have been ordered in the area, which is sparsely populated.

The wildfire was reported just before 1 p.m. in the community of Aquanga, near Buck Road and Lewis Valley Road, and doubled in size in an hour.

More than 200 firefighters, six water-carrying helicopters and six water-tender aircraft were battling the flames, said Jody Hagemann of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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

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-- Phil Willon in Riverside

Image: Approximate location of the fire shown is shown in red. Credit: Google Maps

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