Wildfire Near Banning In Southern California Injures 3, Forces Evacuation In 3 Communities

 @Keemohan on August 08 2013 5:20 AM
banning fire
A house burns in the Twin Pines Road area at the Silver Fire near Banning, California August 7, 2013. The fire broke out shortly after 2 p.m. near a back-country road south of Banning, about 90 miles (145 km) outside Los Angeles in Riverside County, and within hours had blackened more than 5,000 acres, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Daniel Berlandt said. reuters

At least three people -- one civilian and two firefighters -- were injured in a wildfire that broke out at around 2 p.m. local time (5 p.m. EDT), on Wednesday, near Banning, about 85 miles east of Los Angeles, reports said.

The injured civilian was airlifted to a hospital while the two firefighters were transferred to hospitals by ambulance. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known.

Residents of three small communities in the San Jacinto Mountains -- Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley -- have been asked to evacuate as the fire spread across 6,000 acres within a few hours after it started.

"Definitely a fast-moving fire," Capt. Lucas Spelman of Cal Fire told the Los Angeles Times. "There was a situation where people did have to shelter in place."

The fire was zero percent contained as of Wednesday evening, and Spelman told the LA Times that the fire was headed in two different directions -- with one front heading east and the other pushing west.

The cause of the fire and the extent of damage were not immediately known, but extremely dry conditions with temperatures in the high 80s and low 90s were making it difficult for the 500 or so firefighters working to contain the blaze, a Fox News report said.

Daniel Berlandt, a spokesperson for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, told Reuters that several structures had been destroyed in the blaze, but added that it was too soon to say if any of them were homes. But, television footages have reportedly showed several homes in flames.

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