Los Angeles, Sep 7 (IANS) A wildfire in Southern California that killed two people and injured a third has exploded to over 2,400 acres (9.71 square km) within 24 hours as of Tuesday morning, authorities said. The Fairview fire started Monday afternoon near the city of Hemet in Riverside County amid a brutal heat wave that has scorched Southern California for days.
It was only 5 per cent contained to date and the evacuation order and warning remain in place, Xinhua news agency reported, citing the Riverside County Fire Department. The department said at least seven structures had been destroyed and several more damaged. Officials estimated that thousands of structures in the area remain threatened by the fire.
The two victims of the fire appeared to be attempting to flee before being overcome by the blaze, officials said in a media briefing Tuesday morning. Due to the blaze, all schools in Hemet Unified School District will be closed on Tuesday. School district officials said in a statement that the decision "was not made lightly."
After considering local authorities' advisement and evacuation orders, transportation impacts, the current level of fire containment, and the possibility of power outages with anticipated high temperatures, they felt that closing schools on Tuesday is necessary to ensure the safety of students, staff, and families.
Photo courtesy of Canadian Press.