MOUNTAIN FIRE THREATENS IDYLLWILD, NOW ALMOST 20,000 ACRES

MOUNTAIN FIRE THREATENS IDYLLWILD, NOW ALMOST 20,000 ACRES

The Mountain Fire, bringing thick smoke into the Morongo Basin at times, was at almost 23,000 acres as of this morning and is 15 percent contained. Rapid movement of the fire has prompted an evacuation order of Idyllwild, Trails End, and Fern Valley. More than 4,100 residences and 100 commercial properties are now threatened by the fire. Fire officials say steep terrain, congested winding highways, and hot and dry weather continue to confront firefighters. After the evacuations are accomplished, State Highway 243 and portions of State Highway 74 between the Pepper Trees and the intersection with State Highway 371 will be open to local residents only. Some 3,000 fire personnel including 51 crews, 228 engines, 15 dozers and 17 helicopters are now on the fire lines; 23 structures have been destroyed by fire including seven residences during the first day. The cost of fire suppression so far is $5.5 million. A smoke advisory for Yucca Valley, Morongo Valley and surrounding communities remains in affect. If you see or smell smoke in the air where you are, be cautious and use common sense to protect your family’s health. Everyone—especially people with heart or lung disease, older adults and children—should limit time spent outdoors and avoid outdoor exercise when smoke is in the area. Levels of smoke and particles will depend on changes in winds and the containment of the fire. The smoke advisory will be in effect as long as conditions warrant.

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