Update @ 9:03 p.m.: According to a Riverside County Fire Department report, the Buck fire is now 40 percent contained and a revised, more accurate mapping of the burned acreage puts the damage at 2,681 acres lost.
Full containment of the blaze is expected at 8 a.m. on Aug. 18.
The evacuation center has been closed and the orders of evacuation for area residents has been lifted, fire officials said.
Update @ 2:13 p.m.: Fire investigators have said that the cause of the fire was determined to be a lightning strike.
A total of five injuries are being reported now: one civilian with major injuries (transported by air ambulance), one civilian with minor injuries (transported by ground ambulance)and three firefighters with minor injuries (all transported by ground ambulance), according to officials.
Update @ 12:05 p.m: According to Cal Fire spokesman Glenn Barley, fire crews have managed to hold the Buck fire to 3,000 acres, with 15 percent containment.
“The temperatures are supposed to be up at the 100 mark again so that’s going to cause the fire to burn more aggressively. It’s also going to create a tough environment for our firefighters,” Barley said. “Also, wind is starting to pick up.”
The remote, sometimes steep and rocky terrain has also posed a challenge for fire crews, he added.
Barley said no new evacuations have been ordered and that no estimate of containment has been made at this time.
Original: The wildfire that whipped through Sage, east of Temecula on Tuesday has scorched 3,000 acres and is 15 percent contained, fire officials reported early Wednesday morning.
Roughly 400 firefighters from various agencies are on scene, including Cal Fire/Riverside and San Diego, Los Angeles County Fire Department, Orange County Fire Authority, Riverside City Fire Department, Riverside County Fire Department, and Riverside County Fire Office of Emergency Services.
A total of 32 of 47 homes have been evacuated, according to a Riverside County Fire Department report.
Four structures have been lost.
Two fire fighters were injured in the fire Tuesday and transported to area hospitals and at least one civilian was also injured. According to SWRNN reporter Joe Fanaselle that man appeared to have been a worker tending to dozens of marijuana plants off of Checkmate Road.
After the victim was airlifted, several Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene and searched the man’s belongings, including a backpack.
A search continued for other workers who may have also been injured in the blaze.
An evacuation center has been set up by the Red Cross at the Community Recreation Center located at at 30875 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula.
The center provides food, drink and information to anyone displaced by the blaze.
At least one man showed up to the facility seeking aid after his home was destroyed by fire and his dogs lost.
Pet and animal evacuations were also underway Tuesday, with the help of Riverside Emergency Animal Rescue System that evacuated animals, large and small to 581 South Grand Avenue in San Jacinto, fire officials said.
Despite previous reports of 12 alpacas having been evacuated, John Welsh with Riverside County Animal Services said that despite evacuation orders from Cal Fire officials, “We had loaded up 12 alpacas and were ready to roll out – but the property owner arrived and told us to take the alpacas off the trailers. Our team of officers and volunteers listened to the woman’s wishes.”
Animal evacuations continued into the early morning hours.
News and updates for this Riverside County wildfire will be provided throughout the day at SWRNN.