UPDATED: Pinyon Pines fire prompts evacuations, road closures

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Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

UPDATE: Monday, June 14, 8:30 a.m.

Firefighters worked through the night on the Flats fire near Pinyon Pines, bringing containment of the 400-plus acre fire to 30% and halting the forward rate of spread.

Firefighters managed to clear lines of vegetation around 30% of the fire as of Sunday night and they continued to make good progress at clearing more containment lines.
USFS officials reported that one firefighter was injured and was undergoing a medical evaluation.

State Route 74 was shut down in both directions between state Route 371 near Garner Valley and Palowet Drive in Palm Desert, and the public was asked to avoid the area.

An evacuation center was set up at Idyllwild Elementary School, 26700 state Route 243, Idyllwild.

Small animals could be taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, 72050 Petland Place, and both large and small animals could be taken to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services facility in San Jacinto, 581 South Grand Avenue.

Meanwhile, a public information line for the fire was set up at 951-940-6985.

UPDATE: Sunday, June 13, 6 p.m.

The wildfire in the San Bernardino National Forest is now at 400 acres, according to the California Highway Patrol’s incident log.

Two homes were destroyed in the blaze, which is burning on both sides of State Route 74, according to the CHP. Three additional homes and three outbuildings have been damaged in the blaze.

All evacuations remain in place and those needing to evacuate their homes should go to the evacuation center at Idyllwild Elementary School, 26700 state Route 243, Idyllwild. Coachella Valley Animal Campus in Thousand Palms, 72050 Petland Place and  large and small animals can be taken to the Riverside County Department of Animal Services facility in San Jacinto, 581 South Grand Ave.

Meanwhile, a public information line for the fire was set up at 951-940-6985.

State Route 74 is shut down in both directions between state Route 371 near Garner Valley and Palowet Drive in Palm Desert, and the public is asked to avoid the area.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Sunday, June 13, 5 p.m.

A wildfire in the San Bernardino National Forest exploded to 225 acres and was 0% contained today, prompting a mandatory evacuation order for Pinyon Crest and the partial closure of state Route 74.

Evacuation warnings were also issued for the nearby communities of Pinyon Pines and Alpine Village.

Flames were first reported about 11:05 a.m. west of the Pinyon Flat campground in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument about eight miles south of Palm Desert, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

U.S. Forest Service and Riverside County firefighters were responding to the fire, which they reported was spreading at a moderate rate and jumped state Route 74 in a northeasterly direction.

According to the CHP, one structure had been surrounded by the flames around 11:35 a.m., though it was unclear what the structure was and whether it was occupied.

One structure did burn in the blaze.

State Route 74 was shut down in both directions between state Route 371 near Garner Valley and Palowet Drive in Palm Desert. The public was asked to avoid the area.

Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

An evacuation center was set up at Idyllwild Elementary School, 26700 state Route 243, Idyllwild. Large and small animals can be taken to Petland Animal Shelter, 72049 Petland Place, Thousand Palms.

Meanwhile, a public information line for the fire was set up at 951-940-6985.

The blaze comes just as a ridge of high pressure begins to move over the Southland, bringing temperatures 15 to 20 degrees above average, low humidity and elevated fire danger.

Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

According to the National Weather Service, valleys, mountains and desert slopes will be most susceptible to fires in the afternoons and evenings, as relative humidity drops to single digits and temperatures reach triple digits in the Inland Empire.

“These elevated fire weather threats while not critical, will be greatest Tuesday through at least Friday,” the NWS said.

Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

UPDATE: Sunday, June 13, 2:45 p.m.

The wildfire has reportedly burned at least 150 acres and is 0% contained. Evacuation orders and the State Route 74 closure remain in effect.
today.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

A mandatory evacuation order has been issued for the community of Pinyon Crest and an evacuation warning has been issued for the communities of Pinyon Pines and Alpine Village due to a large brush fire burning in the San Bernardino National Forest.

The fire was first reported shortly after 11 a.m. today, west of the Pinyon Flat campground in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument, according to the California Highway Patrol.

As of the last report, the brusher had charred 20 acres and prompted the closure of State Route 74.

U.S. Forest Service and Riverside County firefighters were responding to the fire, which was spreading at a moderate rate and jumped State Route 74 in a northeasterly direction, fire officials said.

According to the CHP, one structure had been surrounded by the flames, though it was unclear what the structure was or if it might have been occupied.

State Route 74 was shut down in both directions near Palowet Drive and the public was asked to avoid the area.

City News Service contributed to this story.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.