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BREAKING NEWS: Silver Fire 95 percent contained, Twin Pines evacuation lifted

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UPDATE 7:15 A.M., Monday, Aug. 12
The Silver Fire news this morning, Aug. 12, is both good and tough. The fire’s size is now estimated to be 20,292 acres and it is 95 percent contained.

Many houses survived the Silver Fire, even if only by mere feet.

Another firefighter sustained some injury. Details were not available. Eleven firefighters were hurt to some extent battling this Fire and one civilian.

The second evacuation Center — Beaumont High School — was closed yesterday as was the San Jacinto Valley Animal Center.

Despite improving conditions in the fire area, Silent Valley does remain closed this morning.

California Highway Patrol and Cal Trans work the road block on Hwy 243 and Poppet Flatts Road Sunday afternoon.

Sunday evening, the Riverside Sheriff’s Office stated, “Evacuation Orders for Silent Valley R.V. Park remain closed due to safety concerns and the ongoing fire operations. Hwy 243 remains closed between Banning and Poppet Flats. The Pacific Crest, Marion Mountain and Seven Pines hiking trails remain closed. Marion Mountain, Fern Basin, Dark Canyon, Black Mountain and Boulder Basin campgrounds remain closed.”

All photos are by Jenny Kirchner.

Some unfortunate Twin Pines residents lost everything.

Many signs in the Silver Fire area burned and lay near their original posts.

The Esperanza Engine 57 Memorial survived the Silver Fire. Many Cal Fire firefighters and other units visited site Sunday

Fire crews worked on cutting trees and other clean up on Twin Pines Road Sunday afternoon.


UPDATE 10:15 A.M. (see 9:45 a.m., update for information about evacuations)
The Silver Fire began near Poppet Flats Wednesday afternoon. During it rapid and threatening growth it moved east toward Snow Creek. But the Fire’s southern edge was moving toward the San Jacinto Wilderness.

As of Saturday evening, Aug. 10, Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Superintendent Paul Reisman provided this summary of the Fire’s movement in that direction.

“The Silver Fire has slowed to a crawl the last two days so we are looking good as far as it not reaching the San Jacinto State Wilderness. Heavy on the retardant the last few days, Cal Fire has done a good job slowing it down.

It looks like the park will be spared this time. It didn’t look that way on Wednesday afternoon when the fire made a run south in our direction.

The news even reported that the fire was entering the park and wilderness. In fact the fire is over two miles from the park boundary and the southeast corner of the fire was help so far on top of One Horse Ridge. [See attached photo of maps from tonight. ]

We did evacuate the Fuller Ridge CCC Crew at the request of the Incident Command but they will be able to go back in on Monday Morning. The Long Valley Crew and Round Valley Crew are still in place as normal.

I will be meeting with USFS on Monday to start looking at reopening areas that were ordered closed in our park and Wilderness as well as their wilderness areas. We hope to be back to having the west side of the park open again. … This will likely be accomplished with an order opening the west side of the park while still keeping the Mountain Fire area closed until it is cooler.

The Tram is shut down forits maintenance period so there will be fewer people heading into the Long Valley area but it will likely be opened again since it is so far away from the current fire and still pretty safe from the Mountain Fire. If someone hikes up Skyline, they can escape the same way down.

We will have staff in the area working on projects …”

Silver Fire proximity to Mt. San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness Courtesy of Paul Reisman, Superintendent


UPDATE 9:45 A.M. Aug. 11

Silver Fire as of Aug. 10. Courtesy of San Jacinto St Park Superintendent Paul Reisman

As of Sunday morning, Aug. 11, fire officials are still expecting full containment of the Silver Fire today. Through Saturday, the Fire has burned 19,436 acres and is 75 percent contained.

The Twin Pines evacuation order has been lifted.

Three more firefighters sustained injuries Saturday for a total of nine firefighters and one civilian. More information about the civilian’s injuries is below the evacuation news.

Fire officials and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office stress, “The Silent Valley RV Park evacuation order will remain in place due to safety concerns and the ongoing firefighting operations.”

Evacuation of Twin Pines lifted. Silent Valley still closed
At 9 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 10, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, upon the recommendation of the CAL FIRE, Riverside County Fire Department and its Office of Emergency Services, and the U. S. Forest Service lifted the evacuation order for the community of TWIN PINES.

Only local residents are allowed to repopulate with an access pass until further notice. Residents must receive an access pass from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department check point at Highway 243 and Poppet Flats Road. The pass must be displayed in order to re-enter the evacuated areas.

Proper identification will be required showing proof of residency in the affected communities. This includes but is not limited to a California Drivers License/ID card, residency identification card, or utility bill (plus photo ID). Special requests will be handled on a case by case basis.

Hwy. 243 will remain closed north of Poppet Flats Road to Wesley Street in Banning. In order to reach Twin Pines, Mt. Edna and Poppet Flats communities, use Hwy 74 (East) to Hwy 243 (North) at Mountain Center.

Access to the communities of Twin Pines, Mt. Edna or Poppet Flats through the Soboba Indian Reservation or southbound Highway 243 from the City of Banning is not permitted.

Silent Valley status
Temporary limited access to Silent Valley RV park was allowed Sunday morning, Aug. 11, between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. RV owners, who entered were required to leave Silent Valley RV Park by 11 a.m.. RV owners will not be allowed re entry into the park!

RV owners must show proof of identification to the Silent Valley RV Park and proof of ownership of an RV inside the park, such as registration. Residents are urged to use caution while driving back into the area and resuming day-to-day activities.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will continue security patrols in these communities as they are repopulated and settled. EVACUATION ORDER: The Silent Valley RV Park will remain closed until further notice due to safety concerns and the ongoing firefighting operations.

Injured civilian
In a press release Saturday, Riverside County Fire Department corrected reports about the burnt civilian found during the beginning hours of the Silver Fire.

“While responding to the fire on Wednesday afternoon, Peace Officers from CAL FIRE and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) came upon a civilian on Wolfskill Truck Trail, south of the Old Banning Idyllwild Rd, just south of Banning.

The man, who had been mountain biking on a rural road, was seriously burned by the Fire when he was overrun by the fast-moving wildfire. The victim was trying to escape the fire area and seek help when the responding officers heard his cries.

The victim sustained serious burn injuries. Fire Personnel quickly removed the burn victim from the fire area to a ground ambulance and he was then transferred to a Mercy Air Ambulance and was flown to the Burn Center at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton.

The victim’s current condition is not known by fire officials.

Map of the Silver Fire

UPDATE 11:55 A.M. The evacuation notices for the Twin Pines and Silent Valley neighborhoods are still in effect. Residents of these areas are not being permitted to re-enter. Highway 243 remains closed from Poppet Flats to Banning.

The Silent Valley area is being used as a helicopter operation, which is critical to containing the Fire along its southern edge, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchison, information officer.

Fire officials hope to have the Silver Fire fully contained, tomorrow, Aug. 11, she said. Yesterday one of the major objectives was to secure the Fire’s southern boundary to keep it out of the Black Mountain area and the San Jacinto Wilderness in the national Forest.

“They hae done a really good big effort to keep it out of Snow Creek and the wilderness,” Hutchison said.

Residents of Poppet Flats may return with confirmed identification.

Fire officials encouraged residents to notify the Red Cross when they return. It is one means of getting critical information to them in case the situation changes. “It helps us,” Hutchison stressed.

UPDATE 11:35 A.M. Friday evening, Aug. 9, Gov. Jerry Brown has issued a state of emergency for Riverside County due to the damage and destruction, which the Silver Fire has caused.

The Governor’s action was necessary for County Supervisors Jeff Stone (3rd District) and Marion Ashley (5th District) to proceed with their efforts to provide a waiver of development fees for the rebuilding of damaged or destroyed structures in the declared natural disaster area. The waivers would apply only to properties that were not insured or inadequately insured, or not covered by disaster relief. Only property owners of record at the time of the fire would qualify for the program under an existing Board policy

UPDATE 11:30 A.M., Aug. 10
The Silver Fire, has burned more than 19,000 acres since Wednesday afternoon. Cal Fire estimates that the Fire is about 47 percent contained.

The firefighting force now exceeds 2,100 firefighters and more than 200 engine companies. Air attack is still involved.

Eight people, seven firefighters and a civilian have been injured. The extent of injuries has not been released.

The Hemet High School evacuation center has been closed. But access passes for the Poppet Flats can be obtained at the Highway 243 road closure.

Also yesterday as a precaution, the San Bernardino National Forest Supervisor Judy Noiron issued more temporary closures because of the Silver Fire.
The following are closed as a precaution due to the Silver Fire: Dark Canyon Road (4S02), Dark Canyon Campground, Fern Basin Campground, Marion Mountain Campground, 7 Pines Trail (2E13), Marion Mountain Trail (2E14), and the PCT between the State Park and I-10.

Forest Order 13-12 map

5:32 P.M. UPDATE: SOME EVACUATION ORDERS LIFTED
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, in cooperation with the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department/OES, is lifting the Evacuation Order for the communities of Snow Creek, Cabazon, Mt. Edna and Poppet Flats as of 6 p.m. today. Only local residents in these affected areas will be allowed to repopulate with an access pass until further notice.
Access passes will be issued by the Riverside Sheriff’s Department starting at 6 p.m. today for the residents of Mt. Edna and Poppet Flats. Residents of Snow Creek and Cabazon do not need an access pass to return to their homes.

The Pass Distribution Center is located at Hemet High School, 41701 East Stetson Ave., Hemet, CA.

Residents must check in at the Distribution Center to receive an access pass. The Riverside Sheriff’s Department will issue a resident an access pass, which must be displayed in order to re-enter the evacuated areas.

· Fire and Emergency services representatives will be available at Hemet High School at 5:30 p.m. to provide information for the evacuees who are repopulating. Information regarding damaged structures is available for all others by dialing 211.

Proper identification will be required showing residency in the affected communities and must be shown at the Distribution Center. This includes, but is not limited to, a California Driver’s License/Identification Card, residency identification card, or utility bill (plus Photo ID). Special requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

Fire officials and cooperators have determined the threat to these communities from the 16,000-acre wildfire has been diminished due to increased containment. Firefighting personnel and equipment are still working in and around the affected areas and the mountain communities. Residents are encouraged to please use caution while driving back into the area and resuming day-to-day activities. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will continue security patrols in these communities as they repopulate and settle.
Evacuation Order: Twin Pines and the Silent Valley RV Park remain closed due to safety concerns and the ongoing firefighting operations.

Road Closures:
Highway 243 will remain closed north of Poppet Flats Road to Wesley Street, Banning.

Every attempt is being made to safely return residents to the communities that remain evacuated. Fire and law enforcement officials want to thank those affected by this evacuation for their safe and efficient evacuation and patience while the Silver Fire posed a threat to their homes, infrastructure and communities as a whole. Residents returning to their homes should stay informed on the fire’s status, as conditions can change depending on weather and fire conditions.

Use 911 only for an emergency. Numerous calls placed to 911 make it harder for emergency personnel to respond to actual emergencies.

The US Forest Service, Cal Fire Riverside Unit and the Riverside County Sheriff’s office are in Unified Command of the Silver Fire. Cal Fire Incident Management Team 6 will assume command of the fire today.

UPDATE 4:50 P.M. Earlier today, Sen. Bill Emmerson announced he had encouraged Gov. Jerry Brown to approved Riverside County’s request. In addition, Assembly members Brian Jones and Brian Nestande have also urged the Governor’s intervention.

Today, Assembly members Brian Nestande, (R- Palm Desert) and Brian Jones, (R-Santee) submitted a request to Governor Brown to declare a State of Emergency in the County of Riverside due to the ongoing battle of both the Falls and Silver Fires. The fires are threatening both the 42nd and 71st Assembly Districts.

The Falls fire is reaching containment but the Silver Fire continues to be an aggressive threat to the region. More than 17,000 acres have been burned and dozens of homes destroyed. The fire is only at 25 percent containment. An estimated 1,600 firefighters are currently battling the blaze that spread so rapidly many fire officials have called it the fastest growing wildfire in more than 50 years.

“As the community just began to recover from the recent Idyllwild fire, we are being threatened again with the Silver and Falls Fires. I hope that the Governor will swiftly issue the Declaration of Emergency so Riverside County can receive badly needed resources. Our first responders are putting forth every effort to protect the homes and families of our community. The news that several firefighters and a civilian have been injured as a result is devastating. I ask that everyone keep them, and the brave men and women battling the blaze, in your thoughts and prayers,” said Nestande.

Several residents have lost power as a result of the blaze and Highway 243 was closed when the flames jumped over the road. Southern California Edison sent out crews once conditions were safe to initiate repairs but there are no estimates at this time when power will be restored. Customers can go to www.sce.com to report outages and receive updates on service interruption.

UPDATE 4:45 P.M. Fire officials have reported the Silver Fire is about 17,500 acres and 25 percent contained. The Fire’s rate of growth has slowed since Wednesday. Since this morning, the estimated size has increased 1,500 acres.
As of 2 p.m., there has been no change in the evacuation orders issued Wednesday and Thursday for communities from Poppet Flats and Silent Valley east to Snow Creek Village and Forest Service campgrounds in the Black Mountain vicinity (Marion Mountain Campground, Fern Basin Campground, Dark Canyon Campground as well as the Marion Mountain and Seven Pines hiking trails).

UPDATE 4:40 P.M. Riverside County Supervisors Marion Ashley and Jeff Stone said Friday that they will seek county financial relief for Silver Fire property owners who want to rebuild in the aftermath of the wind-driven inferno.

Ashley and Stone said they will likely introduce a proposal at the Aug. 20 board meeting to waive development fees for the rebuilding of damaged or destroyed structures in the declared natural disaster area. The proposal would also cover structures destroyed this past July during the Mountain Fire, which burned in and around Idyllwild.

The proposal, if adopted, would emulate a 2006 program that granted fee waivers for the rebuilding of structures destroyed by the deadly Esperanza Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains.

“When people take a hit like this – when they lose their homes – they need a helping hand to rebuild their homes and their lives,” said 5th District Supervisor Marion Ashley, who represents property owners impacted by the Silver Fire, which broke out Wednesday and had devoured 16,000 acres and at least 26 homes by Friday afternoon.

The three-year waiver would be contingent upon a State proclamation of “Local Emergency” in the charred communities of Poppet Flats, Twin Pines, Silent Valley, Cabazon, Snow Creek, Idyllwild and surrounding areas.

The waivers would apply only to properties that were not insured or inadequately insured, or not covered by disaster relief. Only property owners of record at the time of the fire would qualify for the program under an existing Board policy.

“The county is very concerned about the loss of property,” said 3rd District Supervisor Stone. “A lot of these people have minimal insurance or no insurance and the county wants to help residents rebuild and minimize the cost.”

UPDATE 4:00 P.M. Water Districts have offered help to Silver Fire victims in the Poppet Flats and Twin Pines area. Pine Cove Water District delivered 60 cases of Arrowhead water to High Valley Water District and to Silent Valley club. Desert Water also sent two trucks with water. Residents rely on well water, but without electricity, water availability is limited. Becky Smith, Pine Cove Water District, took these photos today, Aug. 9, despite date stamp on photo.

Edwina Scott, executive director Mountain Communities Fire Safe Council, Twin Pines resident, survived the Silver Fire. Pete Coy, PCWD, helps her with the water delivery

Pine Cove Water District delivered 25 cases of water to High Valley Water District for Twin Pines residents.

Pine Cove Water District distributed 60 cases of water to Silent Valley and Twin Pines residents. The Desert Water truck also brought potable water for locals without electricity.

UPDATE 11:00 A.M. Today Senator Bill Emmerson (R – Redlands) sent a letter to Governor Jerry Brown in response to the Silver Fire requesting a state of emergency to be declared in the affected communities in Riverside County.

“I have been monitoring the situation closely and understand that Riverside County has declared a local state of emergency and plan to request that an emergency be declared by the state as well,” Senator Emmerson said in a press release. “Given the severe risk to life and property, we must do all we can to protect the health and safety of residents in these communities.”

Yesterday, Thursday, Riverside County Executive Office Jay Orr declared a local emergency.

UPDATE 9:15 A.M. AUG. 9 The Silver Fire, has burned more than 16,000 acres since Wednesday afternoon. Cal Fire estimates that the Fire is about 25 percent contained.

More than 1,600 firefighters are combating the blaze as it continues its eastward drive.

Cal Fire reported that last night “the Fire continued to burn actively, fanned by gusty winds out of the west and moved east into the Snow Creek drainage. A damage inspection team will continue working to determine the exact number and type of structures damaged or destroyed by the fire.”

Highway 243 remains closed and now Snow Creek Road is closed at Hwy. 111.

Yesterday, Aug. 8, the Forest Service announced further closing in the San Jacinto Ranger District.

“The following are closed due to the Silver Fire: Black Mountain Road (4S01), Black Mountain Fire Lookout, Black Mountain Trail (2E35), Fuller Ridge Trailhead, Black Mountain Yellow-Post Sites, Black Mountain Group Camp, Boulder Basin Campground, and Lake Fulmor Day Use Area. Hwy 243 is closed between Banning and Forest Road 4S02 (Azalea Trail). “

Palm Springs Fire Chief John R. Allen shared this information with Palm Springs’ residents last night. “Currently there are numerous firefighting resources in the Snow Creek area including: 4 strike teams of engines (20 fire trucks and supervisors), four dozers and firefighting aircraft. Palm Springs Fire Department fire stations are fully staff and available for normal response within the City of Palm Springs. PSFD is in constant contact with the Incident Commander and they will advise if the situation changes. The Silver Fire is not within the City of Palm Springs, but has the potential to affect unpopulated areas of the City. Evacuations are not planned for the City of Palm Springs at this time.”

UPDATE 5:15 P.M. Three photos of the Silver Fire from today, Aug. 8. All photos by Jenny Kirchner

Plastic white picket fences melted and morphed into blobs in Twin Pines.

Flames raged on Thursday afternoon off Highway 243 near Banning.


The DC-10 was painting ridges all day Thursday, it's gargantuan size made other planes look like ants flying above.

UPDATE 4:45 P.M. The sheriff’s department has issued an evacuation order for Snow Creek Village in Cabazon.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. Above is a map of the Silver Fire provided by Esri in Redlands. this will remain at the top of these breaking news alerts.

UPDATE 3:45 P.M. The Silver Fire, has burned more than 11,000 acres since Tuesday afternoon. It started near the intersection of Wolfskill Truck Trail and Mt Edna Road in Poppet Flats.

Despite the evacuation some members of the High Valley Mountain Disaster Preparedness team remained to help, according to John Wilson, one of the members.

“I have too many horses to think about leaving,” he said.

His house was not burned, but he said nine homes in the Rancho Encino neighborhood were burned. It moved through the community and crossed Highway 243 moving east, which the Fire continues to do today.

UPDATE 3:15 P.M. The most recent estimate of the Silver Fire size is 11,000 acres and 10 percent contained. It has now entered the San Jacinto Wilderness.

UPDATE 3:13 P.M.: Rand Howell, part-time Hill resident, took this photo of the Silver Fire with the Morongo Casino in the background several minutes ago.

UPDATE 1:45 P.M. “The winds are pushing the [Silver] Fire east,” said Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchison, information officer. “We have an evacuation alert for the east end of Cabazon and Snow Creek.”

Cal Fire is “trying harrd to get it off Black Mountain and out of the forest,” she added.

At this time, there is no change in size or number of personnel.

UPDATE: 1:35 P.M. The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department has now issued a warning evacuation notice for the lower Cabazon area from Elm East to Snow Creek. Lower Cabazon evacuees should use Elm Street north or Esperanza Avenue west to Broadway north. The community of Snow Creek should use Highway 111 to the north.

UPDATE: 1:16 P.M. Kelliey Matthews, High Valleys Water District office manager, wrote, “There are many residents in Poppet Flats who were forced to take shelter in place as they were unable to evacuate because of impassable exits. Some residents had no transportation as well. A resident arranged with the Department of Health and Welfare to have bottled water delivered to those still on the hill and we were then refused by the Department of Health and Welfare due to the mandatory evacuations. All residents are still being asked to leave from the area on the 243 to Hemet.

“We at the water district have put into place a boil order as a precaution but most likely the Environmental Health Department will make that mandatory as early as tomorrow until all the water systems can be tested for contamination. Residents are being asked to report all homes that have been lost or any water leaks to the emergency water department number 951-849-2612, so that we can ensure all leaks and meter blow outs do not cause further water loss from our tanks.

“Our GM, Horacio Menera, has been working diligently with our water techs to repair all leaks and turn offs for homes that were lost. The water district lost a backhoe to the fire, but our office facility only suffered minor damage mostly to trees. Our water lines and tanks have not been damaged and we have secured two generators to keep the water pumping at our pump stations up from the City of Banning. Our main concern is for those that are on the mountain and not being able to get them any bottled water. In addition the office of the High Valleys Water District is closed indefinitely and being operated from my home in Banning.”

UPDATE: 1:12 P.M. During the initial phase of the Silver Fire, a bulldozer’s engine caught on fire but the operator was not injured. This was an internal problem not related to the wildfire.

UPDATE: 12:51 P.M. Silent Valley Club lost only one structure, said General Manager Jo Ann Trosper, the fire barn. The red barn that stores the club’s fire truck was “burned to the ground,” she said. The fire truck was helping fight the fire at the time.

No one has suffered injuries at the club. A handful of people and 16 staff members stayed behind during the mandatory evacuation. The fire “came into the campsite but didn’t breach into the park,” said Trosper, who is not at the club now but is in constant contact with staff members.

Jewel Stephens’ animals are being taken care of, too, she said. Stephens posted a frantic plea on Facebook regarding the pets, and Trosper has spoken to her. “We’ve got somebody taking care of the kitty, the dog and four puppies until they return,” she said.

UPDATE: 11:24 A.M. A map of the Silver Fire …
2013-0808-SilverFire-Cabazon-map

UPDATE 11:02 A.M. The fire is still estimated at 10,000 acres but is now 10 percent contained.

The American Red Cross has set up a”Safe and Well” evacuee locator system at www.redcross.org

Black Mountain has been mandatorily evacuated as a precaution. Boulder Basin and Black Mountain campgrounds on Black Mountain Road have been closed through Aug. 15.

Anyone with campground reservations at those areas should call Reserve America at 1-877-444-6777.

UPDATE: 10:30 A.M. A civilian was airlifted yesterday from the Silver Fire to an area hospital with moderate to major burns, according to Riverside County Fire Spokesperson Daniel Berlanc. Four firefighters have been injured as of today, all with minor to moderate injuries such as smoke inhalation, he said. He Riverside County Sheriff’s deputies helped evacuate about 5,000 residents from the area but he had no information on whether anyone had to shelter in place.

The Silver Fire is moving primarily east, though it also is moving south up the mountain, he said. Because of the dynamics of the fire, no map is currently available from the Incident Command set up in Banning.

UPDATE: 10:04 A.M. According to Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Public Information Officer Lisa McConnell, no deputies had to shelter in place last night in the Silver Fire. Their initial escape route was cut off when the fire jumped Highway 243 but they were able to find an escape route.

UPDATE 9:53 P.M. A map of the burning areas: http://tmappsevents.esri.com/website/wildfire-responsive/index.html

UPDATE 8:15 A.M., Aug. 8 The Silver Fire is now estimated to be 10,000 acres with no containment. At least 16 structures have been destroyed. At this time details of whether these were outbuildings — for instance, a garage or barn — or homes is not known. At least two firefighters and a civilian were injured and transported to local hospitals. The extent of the injuries is unknown currently.

Firefighters battle the Silver Fire in Twin Pines Wednesday night. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Evacuations now include the communities of Vista Grande, Mt. Edna, and portions of Cabazon (Peach Street, Plum Street, Eucalyptus Street, and Riza Avenue, Ida Avenue, Helen Avenue East to Elm Street).

Beautiful views are no longer off Highway 243 near Twin Pines Rd.

Evacuation centers are at both Beaumont and Hemet High Schools. The addresses are posted below.

More than 1,000 firefighters are already fighting the fire. Air resources are being used, including three night-flying helicopters.

All photos are by Jenny Kirchner.

Riverside County Sheriff help rescue two horses that were running near their home at 47670 Twin Pines Rd. Wednesday night.

A storage building burns in Twin Pines.

Firefighters battle the Silver Fire in Twin Pines Wednesday night.

UPDATE 8:00 P.M. At this time, there is no change in the fire size or personnel. The extensive smoke hinders the aircraft ability to estimate size. It still continues its eastward mofvement according to Cal Fire Chief Julie Hutchison, public information officer.

The Fires southern edge is the northern edge of Silent Valley, according to Hutchison. “Twin Pines was hit hard,” she said sadly.

The following photographs were all from Jenny Kirchner.

The flames head up from Silent Valley toward Highway 243. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

Flames shoot high in the sky as the Silver Fire grows out of control. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

The DC-10 was called in within a hour after the Silver Fire started. Here it drops retardant near the Zen Center attempting to save the community.

Flames and smoke from highway 243 of the Zen Center.

Fire personnel line up at the entrance of the Zen Center and start dozers to battle the flames.

One fire captain assesses the work of dozers. One of the dozers may have been lost to fire, but not a burn over.

Smoke that looks like a large tornado billows through the Twin Pines area.


UPDATE 6:40 p.m. The Silver Fire is generating a lot of smoke mostly moving east, according to Cal Fire Chief Julie Hutchison, public information officer. But as the winds have lessened, the Fire is widening.

She did confirm one injured civilian, but no details on the injury.

UPDATE 6:25 P.M. An additional evacuation center has been established at Beaumont High School, 39139 Cherry Valley Boulevard Beaumont An animal evacuation location will be San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, 581 South Grand Avenue San Jacinto.

UPDATE 6:10 P.M. According to Cal Fire Chief Julie Hutchison, public information officer, the Silver Fire is still moving east with “zero” containment.

Structures in the Twin Pines area have been lost, but she said there is no confirmation of whether they were out buildings or homes. One confirmed firefighter injury and reports of others, she said.

The rapidly moving fire caused evacuation problems and several residents had to shelter-in-place with deputies. “There was no exit for them,” she said. Twin Pines is still threatened.

UPDATE 5:45 P.M. The Silver Fire is now at 5,000 acres.

Cal Fire has confirmed multiple structures damaged or destroyed in Twin Pines. One injured firefighter confirmed, possibly smoke inhalation.

UPDATE 5:28 P.M. Confirmation of four structures destroyed in Silent Valley area and possibly more in Poppet Flats, and possibly two firefighters injured.

UPDATE 5:00 P.M. The Silver Fire, has burned more than 2,500 acres since about 2 p.m. With strong west winds in the Banning Pass, the fire is rapidly burning east into the Esperanza Fire footprint.

The fire has two burning fronts, Twin Pines moving east and Poppet Flats, according to Cal Fire Battalion Chief Julie Hutchison, information officer.

The rapidness of the fire has forced deputies to shelter some residents-in-place until danger passes, Hutchison said.

We have unconfirmed reports that structures in both Twin Pines and Silent Valley have been damaged and perhaps destroyed.

UPDATE 4:25 P.M. The Silver Fire has burned 2,500 acres and continues to grow rapidly.

For evacuee, Hemet High School is the designated evacuation center. Hemet High School is at 41701 East Stetson Avenue Hemet.

UPDATE 4:15 P.M. The Cal Trans southern closure point on Hwy. 243 is the Nature Center near Idyllwild. Pine Cove residents with identification will be permited through the closure. No update on size or staffing yet; however, the DC-10 has been summoned to help drop retardant on the Silver Fire.

The Silver Fire seen from Hemet.

UPDATE 3:45 P.M. A mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the communities of Poppet Flats, Silent Valley and Twin Pines. Highway 243 is closed to non-residents between the Banning at the bottom of the Hill to Azela Trails.

More than 450 firefighters are on site and multiple agencies fighting this fire.

UPDATE: 3:23 P.M.: The Silver Fire is now at 300 acres and Poppet Flats area is under mandatory evacuation, according to a source on the scene. Highway 243 is closed. A DC-10 has been ordered.

UPDATE: 3:15 P.M. The Silver Fire was reported about 2:15 p.m. It is near Poppet Flats Road. Size and specific location are unknown at this time.

Cal Fire has already dispatched more than 100 firefighters, two helicopters, 21 engine companies, and four air tankers. Multiple agencies, including the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, are participating in fighting this fire.
Truck Companies: 0 Fire Crews: 2

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Category: Idyllwild News, News

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About the Author: J.P. Crumrine is editor of the Town Crier. He can be reached at jp@towncrier.com.

Comments (3)

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  1. Thanks to J.P. Crumine; if it weren’t for him we’d know hardly anything about the status of the fire!
    CDF and Riverside County Fire webpages are sorely lacking in details.
    And local news down here (San Diego)just keep showing burning houses, and saying fire is in Banning!
    A map would be nice though – even an approximate location and showing direction it’s heading?

  2. Avatar of Glenn Draper Glenn Draper says:

    Any news on Skyland Ranch?

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