Idyllwild Fire Burns 6 Homes, 14K Acres, Forces Evacuations in Calif.

Image: Idyllwild Fire Burns 6 Homes, 14K Acres, Forces Evacuations in Calif.

Wednesday, 17 Jul 2013 01:23 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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A fire near Idyllwild, Calif., has already destroyed six home and forced residents to evacuate as it continues to burn out of control, now spanning more than 14,000 acres.

The wildfire ignited Monday east of Mountain Center and Apple Canyon, and expanded rapidly. As of Wednesday, 15 structures — including the six homes — and six vehicles had been burned by the blaze, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The combination of old timber, extremely dry brush, and near-triple-digit temperatures didn’t help as firefighters struggled to keep the fire contained Tuesday.

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"It’s hot, it's dry, it’s windy and it's really dry brush," Forest Service spokesman Lee Beyer told the Times on Tuesday.

More than 25,000 firefighters and 25 aircrafts are trying to battle the fire, which is still only about 10 percent contained, Beyer said.

Red Cross shelters have been set up at area high schools for those who were evacuated, the Times reported.

Last month, 19 firefighters were killed while battling a massive wildfire in Arizona about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.

"This is as dark a day as I can remember," Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement at the time. "It may be days or longer before an investigation reveals how this tragedy occurred, but the essence we already know in our hearts: fighting fires is dangerous work."

The National Fire Protection Association lists just seven previous incidents in the United States during the past century that killed as many or more firefighters than the Arizona wildfire in June, topped by the loss of 340 firefighters in the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center.

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Related stories:

Arizona Wildfire That Killed 19 is 80 Pct Contained

California Wildfire Destroys 24 Homes, Consumes 30,000 Acres

'Hundreds' of Colorado Springs Homes Lost to Wildfire  

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