A small fire ignited about noon, Saturday, Oct. 14, when a vehicle and trailer caught fire just west of Mountain Center on Highway 74. The Mount Fire, on both sides of the highway, reached 3 acres before containment. Ambulances transported a family of four from the vehicle to area hospitals. Photo by Jenny Kirchner

A small fire ignited about noon Saturday, Oct. 14, when a vehicle and trailer caught on fire just west of Mountain Center on Highway 74.

The Mount Fire, on both sides of the highway, reached three acres before containment, according to Incident Commander Chris Fogle, battalion chief on the San Jacinto Ranger District. Firefighters from the district’s Engine 56 mopped up the fire that evening, he added.

Ambulances transported four people from the vehicle to area hospitals. (See traffic collision story on page A2.) California Highway Patrol reported that both the Jeep and the trailer, which it was pulling, were fully burned.

Closure of Highway 74 did not appear to affect attendance at Saturday’s Art Walk and Wine Tasting, according to Peter Szabadi of the Art Alliance of Idyllwild, which sponsors the annual event.

There was a unified command with the U.S. Forest Service San Jacinto Ranger District and Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters.

“A quick response of ground and aerial fire assets from Forest Service and CalFire” held the fire from spreading, Fogle wrote in an email.

  The rapid initial attack included a helicopter and two air tankers besides the ground engine crews. Nearly 80 firefighters combated the fire and prevented it from expanding and spreading.

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