Fairview burns 4,997 acres, HUSD schools close

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Fairview Fire 9/6/22 Don Starkey photo
Valley News/Don Starkey photo
Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 6 8:15 pm

Fairview Fire is 4997 acres. Still 5% contained.

All HUSD schools are closed until further notice due to the Fairview Fire.

UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 7:30 pm

A Message from the Hemet Unified Superintendent: All schools in Hemet Unified will remain CLOSED through Wednesday, September 7, 2022, and Until Further Notice, Due to the Fairview Fire.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 5:30 pm

The Fairview Fire has burned 4,500 acres and remains at 5% containment. The fire is moving toward Anza.

“Each structure inside Simpson park has a fire engine on standby. They’re on standby to protect the structures just in case the fire comes toward them. They have engines going up and down the park hitting all the hot spots that are reigniting. The bigger fire is towards Simpson Park where they’re now doing the airdrops,” said reporter on the scene Mario Sevilla.
Valley News/Shane Gibson photo
The bigger fire is Fairview where they are now doing the airdrops. There are at least 7 aircraft dropping water or retardant including a VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker) which carries retardant.

Supporting agencies include CAL Fire, Hemet Fire, CDF, Riverside, Ventura, Rainbow, Bautista, EOS, Corona, Beaumont, Morongo, and Indio.

Valley News/Don Starkey photo

There are now evacuation orders for the area south of Hwy 74 to Thomas Mtn. West of Mountain Center, North of Cactus Vly. Anza north of Hwy 371 to Forestry Boundary. Also Thomas Mountain Ridge South to Cactus Valley to Bautista Cyn to the forest boundary. Bautista Canyon Road, south of Stetson Road, north of the Two Streams trailhead.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 3:30 pm

The Fairview Fire is up to 4,000 acres and remains at 5% containment.


UPDATE: Tuesday, Sept. 6, 7 a.m.

The Fairview fire burns in the nighttime hours near Hemet, Monday, Sept. 5. Valley News/Courtesy photo

A wind-driven fire broke out in the foothills at the end of Fairview Avenue in Valle Vista at about 3 p.m. Sept. 5, reportedly leaving some structures on fire with two confirmed fatalities and one injured. As of 12 p.m., 2,400 acres were charred in the brusher which only had 5% containment, Cal Fire said. 

Seven buildings were destroyed and several more were damaged, fire officials said.

Mandatory evacuations remain in place for residents south of Stetson Avenue, north of Cactus Valley Valley Road, west of Fairview Avenue and east of State Street as firefighters tackle what has been dubbed the Fairview Fire.

Valley News/Shane Gibson photo

An evacuation warning was issued for Cactus Valley in an area north of Cactus Valley Road and east of Stetson, where residents were urged to prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.
Another evacuation warning was issued late Monday for Bautista Canyon Road, south of Stetson and north of the Two Streams Fork trailhead.

Tahquitz High School is open for those who have evacuated their homes due to the fire.

An estimate is that some 1,500 homes were affected by the evacuation order. Caltrans reported that the following streets were closed to southbound traffic at Stetson Street in the east Hemet area: Stanford, Dartmouth, Cornell, Aurora Drive, Columbia, Yale, Girard, San Jacinto, Santa Fe, Meridian, Hemet, Lake and Fairview Avenue.

Fire Departments from as far away as Corona were quickly called to the scene of the fire, with its cause still unknown as of deadline, Arriving at the location of quickly moving fire moving east toward State Street and Gibbel Road leading into Avery Canyon forced the evacuation of dozens of people living in foothills, some reporting their homes destroyed by the flames.

This Fairview fire victim, apparently burned trying to escape the fast-moving fire, is being treated by American Medical Rescue Paramedics on Gibbel Road before being transported to a hospital. Dozens of people were evacuated from the fire area, still out of control by 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 5. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

A woman, burned in the fast-moving flames, reportedly lost two of her family members as her car caught on fire on Gibbel Road trying to escape, She was rushed to an awaiting AMR ambulance at State Street and Domenigoni Parkway and taken to Hemet Ryan Airport where she was to be flown to a hospital. 

Cal Fire helicopters, a large air tanker, and smaller air attack planes were ordered to the fire scene dropping phos chek and water to help stall the flames. A police vehicle attempting to help with the residential evacuations came down Gibbel Road covered in the red fire retardant from one of the air drops. 

This phos chek covered pickup truck hauling a horse in a horse trailer made it out of fire ravaged Avery Canyon south of Hemet but its owner feared he had lost his home in the blaze. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

“This vehicle could go through flames and still come out the other side,” the officer from the vehicle said.

One Cactus Valley resident stood by his phos chek covered truck with a horse trailer behind containing one horse said, “It got my home. My home,” with his head down.

Neighbors of the lady burned in the fire who didn’t want to give her name said, “We barely got out.” They were on the phone concerned about other relatives and neighbors trying to escape the fast-moving flames.

CalFire hotshot crews on Gibbel Road east of State Street prepare to fight the fast moving fire burning over the foothills toward Cactus Valley east of Hemet. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

Numerous hot shot crews from Keenwild, Cranston stations and from Bautista Canyon, stood by to try to contain the flames as they raced down the hills, More apparatus was called to the scene as the flames quickly moved southeast down the hills toward McSweeny Ranch and Cactus Valley Road homes. Police stopped all southbound traffic at Simpson Road and State Street, only allowing those evacuating to leave and make their way to safety and more emergency vehicles to pass about 6:30 p.m. 

The Fairview Fire that broke out Labor Day off south Fairview Road leading to Bautista Canyon moved quickly and is burning down towards Hemet State Street at Gibbel Ave. Dozens of Gibbel Road and Avery Canyon residents were forced to evacuate. Valley News/Tony Ault photo

  Airdrops were continuing after 7 p.m. just as the sun was going down. Smoke from the fire could be seen as far as the Orange County coast.
Gov. Gavin Newsom announced early Tuesday that California has secured a grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help ensure the availability of vital resources to suppress the Fairview Fire.
The grant will enable local, state and tribal agencies responding to the fire to apply for 75% reimbursement of their eligible fire suppression costs.

Editor’s note: Staff Writer Tony Ault reported from the scene of the fire to write this article. City News contributed.

EVENING UPDATE:

By City News Service

HEMET  – Two civilian deaths have been confirmed and one injury in the fire that has reached 700 acres and is 5% contained. Several homes have burned. The fast-moving brush fire erupted just east of Hemet today, engulfing several structures, including homes, and prompting evacuation orders as firefighters battled the blaze in triple-digit heat.
The Fairview Fire was reported at a little after 2 p.m. on Fairview Ave. and Bautista Road, and quickly grew to at least 600 acres, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Evacuations were ordered for an area south of Stetson, north of Cactus Valley Road, west of Fairview Avenue and east of State Street. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department was going door to door to enforce the evacuation order, Cal Fire Captain Richard Cordova said.
He estimated that some 1,500 homes were affected by the evacuation order.
An evacuation warning was issued for Cactus Valley in an area north of Cactus Valley Road and east of Stetson, where residents were urged to prepare to leave at a moment’s notice.
An evacuation center was set up at Tahquitz High School at 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet. Riverside County officials said evacuees could also bring their small animals to the center, where personnel would assist with evacuated pets.
Cordova said the fire was already well underway when firefighters first arrived on the scene amid strong east winds. Temperatures were over 100 degrees in the fire area with relative humidity of 13% and east winds gusting at 15 to 25 mph at the time of ignition, according to the National Weather Service.
There was no immediate estimate of damages, but television news footage showed several structures in flames.
Cal Fire reported at 6:40 p.m. that flames were approaching about 10 houses in the area of Newport Road east of State Street, where additional resources were requested.


ORIGINAL STORY:

By City News Service

HEMET  – A fast-moving fire that broke out in Hemet this afternoon quickly spread to 500 acres.The fire was engulfing several structures and prompting evacuation orders as firefighters battled the blaze in triple-digit heat.

   Evacuations were ordered for the area of south of Thornton Avenue, north of Polly Butte Road, west of Fairview Avenue, and east of State Street. Several structures were reported to be on fire.

The Fairview Fire was reported at 3:37 p.m. on Fairview Ave. and Bautista Road.
Initial reports said it had burned at least 20 acres of vegetation and was spreading at a rapid rate, the department said. That figure grew to 500 acres in less than an hour.
Evacuations were ordered for an area south of Thornton Avenue, north of Polly Butte Road, west of Fairview Avenue and east of State Street, Cal Fire Riverside reported at 5:03 p.m.
Copyright 2022, City News Service, Inc.