Southern California Fairview Fire explodes, kills 2, threatens thousands of structures
Crews battled a roughly 20-acre bushfire in Hemet, southeast of Los Angeles, that quickly expanded to 2,000 acres and was 5 percent contained by early evening, CBS Los Angeles reports.
Riverside County Fire Chief Richard Cordova confirmed that two residents died from the blaze and another was taken to the hospital with severe burns.
Crews were able to rescue several people trapped by the fire.
By late Monday night, seven buildings had been destroyed and several others were damaged. Officials estimated that more than 5,000 people were also threatened by the fires. About 1,500 homes were evacuated.
The so-called Splendid Fire broke out around 3:37 p.m. and was burning rapidly in light to moderate vegetation.
An evacuee care and reception area was set up at a local high school.
According to the Riverside County Fire Department website33 engine companies, 6 aerial tankers and 4 helicopters were deployed to fight the fire.
Crews will face several challenges Tuesday as they battle the bushfires, with light winds in the morning and winds in the afternoon, as well as high temperatures, Cordova said.
Officials from the Hemet Unified School District Says schools are closed on Tuesday due to fire.