Firefighters watch as flames approach a retardant line near a residential community in Banning, California, on Saturday. AFP
Nearly 8,000 residents of Riverside County in Southern California were forced to evacuate their homes on Saturday as a wildfire spread uncontained across more than 4,000 acres, the County fire department said.
The fire, dubbed the Apple Fire by local firefighters — who routinely give blazes identifying names — was reported Friday in Cherry Valley, a community about 75 miles east of Los Angeles and had destroyed at least one family home as of Saturday evening.
The 747 Supertanker makes a retardant drop near Banning, California on Saturday. AFP
Photographs shared by the Riverside County fire department on Twitter on Saturday showed thick plumes of smoke filling the sky over the mountainous region.
Residents of 2,586 homes, totaling around 7,800 people, had been told to evacuate, the department said.
The fire had grown from 700 acres on Friday evening to 4,125 acres by Saturday evening and was 0% contained, according to the County fire department and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire).Reuters
Residents fled their homes as the so-called Tick Fire scorched over 4,000 acres (1,618 hectares) and was only ten percent contained by Friday evening.
The winds weren’t expected to reach the ferocious speeds that helped the Dixie Fire explode in size last week. As of Sunday, the fire had destroyed 489,287 acres (198,007 hectares), authorities said, up from the previous day's 447,723 acres.
By Friday evening, the strongest blaze, dubbed the Saddleridge Fire, had consumed 7,542 acres (3,052 hectares) in areas of the San Fernando Valley, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of downtown Los Angeles, fire officials said.
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