Cranston Fire grows to 11,500 acres, ravages SoCal mountain communities

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IDYLLWILD, Calif. — Fire crews began their third day in a firefight against the multi-thousand-acre Cranston Fire in the Idyllwild area Friday.

The fire, which has already destroyed five homes, has grown to 11,500 acres, the U.S. Forest Service stated on their inciweb fire update page.

Containment of the fire, which had stood at 5 percent, was lowered to just 3 percent in the Forest Service’s most recent update.

On Thursday, Gov. Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County due to the fire, which investigators believe was intentionally started off Highway 74 in the San Jacinto Mountains around noon Wednesday.

Temecula resident Brandon McGlover, 32, has been arrested on suspicion of starting the blaze, along with four other fires in southwest Riverside County.

Evacuations remain in place for the following areas:

• Apple Canyon Area
• Cedar Glen
• Camp Scherman Girlscout Camp
• Fern Valley
• Hurkey Creek Area
• Idyllwild
• Lake Hemet Area
• Mountain Center Community
• Mt San Jacinto State Park
• Pine Cove

An evacuation center remains open at Banning High School, located at 100 W. Westward Avenue.

A full list of campground and recreation area closures can also be found on the inciweb page.

Large animals can be dropped off at the Dysart Equestrian Park on West Victory Avenue in Banning.

Small animals are also being accepted at the equestrian park but will be transferred to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, which is accepting both large and small animals. The Animal Campus is located at 581 S. Grand Avenue in San Jacinto.

Highway 74 is closed from the city of Hemet to Lake Hemet. Officials have also shut down Highway 243 from Banning to the intersection of the 243 and Highway 74.

Nearly 1,400 fire personnel have been sent to help fight the fire.

On Thursday, officials said as many as 5,000 structures remained threatened.

Two other major wildfires are also burning in California, prompting Gov. Brown to declare states of emergency in those areas as well.

The Carr Fire, which has claimed two lives as of Friday morning, is burning in Shasta County.

In Mariopsa County, the Ferguson Fire continues to threaten Yosemite National Park.

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