The worst of this week’s heat wave hit Southern California on Friday, sparking several brush fires, including one that was burning numerous homes in San Diego County and another that forced the evacuation of the entire town of Forest Falls.
A fast-moving fire in the San Bernardino National Forest on Friday afternoon prompted authorities to tell Forest Falls residents to flee their homes. The fire was more than 100 acres and was burning quickly into the San Gorgonio Wilderness, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. An evacuation center was set up at Inland Leaders Charter School, 12375 California St. in Yucaipa.
The most serious of the fires was burning out of control along Interstate 8 near Alpine. The fire jumped through the community of West Willows, engulfing buildings and also burning along a traffic median on the side of the freeway.
Authorities said that more than 400 acres had been burned and that hundreds of people had been evacuated. Officials were still trying to tally the exact number of homes lost, though it appeared at least a dozen structures were burned. Live TV coverage from Alpine showed numerous homes and other structures burning as winds pushed the fire through foothill communities.
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