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More than 200 homes evacuated in Yucaipa

August 31, 2009 |  8:52 pm


More than 200 homes were evacuated in Yucaipa by 8:45 pm Monday as flames from the Pendleton fire crept over a steep ridge and directly threatened 400 homes. The skies over Yuicaipa glowed orange as that fire and another in nearby Oak Glen continued to burn.

Families gathered in front of their homes on Fremont Avenue as the flames and smoke crept closer.

The Monson family left their lofty mountaintop home as flames licked the bottom of their driveway. Norman  Monson was covered in orange spots from fire retardant dropped by planes. Monson, his wife Eileen and son Glenn stared up at the home and the ominous glow heading toward it.

An air drop had saved the house earlier and they hoped it would survive the night.

"If I could identify that pilot I'd buy him a bottle of scotch, he made a perfect line on that drop," said Glenn Monson.

Robin Jenson emerged from her home after packing her family photos and paperwork. When the smoke grew thick and the reverse 911 calls came from the fire department telling her to leave, she rounded up her teenage sons.

"Go get the suitcases," she said. "I think we're going to go now."

Lines of cars followed. Fire officials say they have no estimate on containment.

-- David Kelly

Photo: A firefighter throws some sand over a burning brush to extinguish the on Glen Oaks Road where a brush fire is ragging in Yucaipa. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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