4,700-acre fire near Idyllwild forces evacuations

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IDYLLWILD, Calif. — A fast-moving wildfire in Riverside County has blackened about 8,000 acres near Idyllwild, forcing the evacuation of dozens of homes, officials said Tuesday.

Wildfire

A fast-moving fire near Idyllwild has burned thousands of acres since Monday afternoon. (Cal-Fire / July 16, 2013)

The Mountain fire started Monday afternoon off highways 243 and 74 near Idyllwild and quadrupled in size overnight to 4,700 acres. By midday, it had nearly doubled in size again. It was 10% contained, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for 24 homes in the Bonita Vista and Fleming Ranch communities. The Living Free Animal Sanctuary and the Zen Mountain Center were also evacuated. Evacuation centers for residents and pets were set up at local schools and animal shelters.

About 650 firefighters aided by helicopters and air tankers, were attacking the blaze, which has damaged an unknown number of buildings. The cause was under investigation.

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