Fairview is lethal. The Hemet fire has grown to 4,500 acres, and the scope of the destruction is becoming obvious.
The Fairview Fire in Hemet spread to nearly 4,500 acres on Tuesday and is barely 5% containment. Firefighters are working feverishly to put out the fire, which has already claimed two lives and damaged multiple homes.
"The fire behavior has been highly erratic," Cal Fire spokesperson Rob Roseen said Tuesday morning at the area.
The brush fire started at 2 p.m. Monday on the outskirts of Hemet in Riverside County and quickly spread.
Cal Fire Chief Josh Janssen announced during a morning press conference that two persons were murdered and another was injured while attempting to leave.
The killings are being investigated by the Riverside County Sheriff's Department. At this point, it is unknown whether the individuals were related or from the same family.
Janssen could not specify how many structures were damaged or destroyed by the fire, but Cal Fire tweeted on Monday evening that seven had been destroyed.
Sky5 video shows burnt residences on the now-uninhabited slopes east of State Street and south of Stetson Avenue.
Firefighters faced not just challenging terrain, smoke and flames from the fire, but also temperatures in the triple digits. Temperatures in Hemet reached 105 degrees on Monday afternoon, and a lingering heat wave was forecast to keep them there on Tuesday.
The mandatory evacuation of approximately 3,400 properties south of Stetson Avenue, north of Cactus Valley Road, west of Bautista Canyon, and east of State Street remained in effect.
Another evacuation order has been issued for the region between Thomas Mountain Ridge and Cactus Valley, as well as Bautista Canyon and the Forest Boundary.
Tahquitz High School, located at 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet, has been designated as an evacuation center. According to Shane Reichardt, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Emergency Management Department, small animals might be transferred there.
The Hemet Unified School District stated Tuesday that all schools will be closed. Reichardt stated that the district will notify students and families of the closure.
The Eastern Municipal Water District, which services the region, officials said roughly 50 customers received a boil water warning as a result of the incident. A power failure reduced pressure in one of the district's water tanks, prompting the warning.
Residents should have already been told of the alert, which may last at least 48 hours as personnel restore full system functionality and monitor water quality.