Destructive San Bernardino wildfire explodes to 200 acres

Data pix.

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A fast-moving brush fire broke out at the northern end of San Bernardino early Thursday, destroying several homes.

The blaze, dubbed the Hillside Fire, was reported around 2 a.m. near Waterman Canyon and state Route 18, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. It had consumed more than 200 acres within an hour, fueled by 20 to 30 mph winds and gusts of up to 60 mph.

About 12 hours after the blaze first sparked, officials announced significant progress. The fire was 50% contained, according to San Bernardino County Fire Department.

One firefighter needed medical treatment for smoke inhalation, officials said.

Firefighters got in position to defend buildings as they doused the flames but helicopter video showed buildings engulfed in flames. Six homes and two outbuildings had been damaged or destroyed, San Bernardino County Fire Department Chief Donn Trapp said in a news conference at 7:30 a.m.

About 350 personnel were part of the firefight, San Bernardino National Forest said.

Evacuations were ordered for areas north of 50th Street between SR-118 and Mayfield Avenue, which encompasses about 500 houses. An evacuation center was set up at nearby Pacific High School for the roughly 1,300 people forced to leave home.

Officials closed SR-118 in the area as they fought the flames.

Much of Southern California remained under a Red Flag warning Thursday, and fires burned across the region, including in Chula Vista, Simi Valley and Riverside. Thousands of San Diego County residents were also without power as a fire danger precaution.

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