Rouse Fire on Highway 74 brings quick Forest Service and Cal Fire response

Firefighters battle a blaze that broke out less than a mile from the Cranston Fire Station, Wednesday, Aug. 30. Tony Ault photo
Firefighters battle a blaze that broke out less than a mile from the Cranston Fire Station, Wednesday, Aug. 30. Tony Ault photo

U.S. Forest Service crews and Cal Fire firefighters rushed to a fast wind driven brush fire that erupted less than a mile east of the Cranston Fire Service station on Highway 74 outside of Hemet about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, burning over 30 acres.

The fire pushed by sudden winds onto both sides of Highway 74 with U.S. Forest Service firefighters from Cranston station jumping into their truck to attack the flames.

Because of the wind and drying brush on the hillsides just below homes on the hill above a call for assistance went out and by 3:15 p.m. about 100 firefighters from Idyllwild to Perris were at the scene.

A fire helicopter hovers over the Cranston Fire near Hemet. Tony Ault photo
A fire helicopter hovers over the Cranston Fire near Hemet. Tony Ault photo

They were quickly assisted with two air tankers dropping phoschek and three helicopters include the largest in the fleet called the “Incredible Hulk.”

Water from the nearby Bee Canyon farm reservoir was used by the helicopter crews to keep the fire from spreading. The fire reached the top of the hill in minutes threatening the orange groves above but no houses were in its path, firefighters reported.

The fire was brought under control about 5 p.m. but fire crews remained at the scene at of what is being called by Rouse Fire, mopping up hot spots and cutting brush to halt any flareups.

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