Update 6:50 a.m., Monday — CAL FIRE, with mutual aid, gained 100 percent containment of the Gorgonio Fire yesterday evening. Firefighters expected full control today. The Fire's size was determined to be 510 acres.
Highway 243 was opened in both directions with out escort patrols yesterday evening, too.
Update 1:45 p.m. — Cal Trans has reported that Highway 243 is opened to 1-way with controlled traffic (escots only) from six miles south of Banning to Wesley St. in Banning.
The Fire's size is holding at 650 acres and containment has increased to 75 percent.
Update 11:15 a.m. — The Gorgonia Fire is still estimate to be 650 acres and 30 percent contained.
CAL FIRE and CAL TRANS official will re-evaluated the closure of Highway 243 early this afternoon. Besides the fire danger, Cal Trans must restore highway rails, which were damaged during the firefighting.
“The number of recent fires is typical for this time of year in Southern California,” said CAL FIRE Capt. Mike Smith, public information officer for the Gorgonia Fire. “However the weather conditions normally don’t let them grow as these have. The wind, low humidity and heat have helped them grow.”
Although rain is in the forecast, Smith stressed that the worse part of the Gorgonio Fire is on its far eastern flank and access to it very difficult.
Original post:The Gorgonio Fire on the south side of Banning still has Highway 243 closed. CAL FIRE officials were still not sure when the highway will re-open.
The Fire started Saturday and was reported about 11:45 a.m. As of Saturday night, the fire had burned about 650 acres, but no structures were damaged or any injuries incurred.
On Sunday morning, CAL FIRE expected about 575 firefighters, including three helicopters and 37 engines would be working to contain the fire. Currently containment was still at 30 percent.
Highway 2343 is closed from Wesley Ave in Banning to Poppet Flat Road on the Hill.
On Saturday, several air tankers, including a DC 10,
were dropping retardant on the ridges along Highway 243 above Banning.
The Summit Fire, which started Wednesday, and burned about 3,200 acres north of Banning has been contained as of Saturday evening.