Wind-driven wildfire burning near Riverside County communities now beyond 5000 acres


Fewer than 200 homes in a remote area off Highway 243 are actually under an evacuation warning, according to authorities.

A brush fire along state Route 79 south of Beaumont stood at 5,000 acres Tuesday morning. Two people were transported to local hospitals with unknown injuries.

A wildfire in south and east of Beaumont, California, that broke out Monday afternoon grew to 5,000 acres late Monday, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department announced in a Facebook update. A voluntary evacuation was also issued for Death Valley Road, Longhorn Road and Shirleon Drive. Kemp said the current fire may indicate what's to come. It was soon learned the message was sent in error, fire officials said.

"At this time the fire is moving as fast as it can move in this type of situation".

Highway 79 southbound has re-opened, but the northbound side is limited to one lane, according to the Fire Department.

The blaze was first reported at around 3 p.m. after a single-car crash near Lamb Canyon sparked a 30-acre fire that quickly began to spread at a "critical rate", officials said.

According to Cal Fire, 28 engine crews and 15 hand crews, numbering about 350 personnel, were deployed on the fire lines, aided until sundown by eight air tankers and three-water dropping helicopters.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Cindy Bachman said the Emergency Alert evacuation notice, is for Riverside Co residents only; no threat to San Bernardino county residents.