The Cranston Incident Fire as seen from Inspiration Point. Photo by Holly Parsons

Smoke from the Cranston Fire seen from downtown Idyllwild at around 1:15 p.m.
Photo by Jack Clark

Town Crier is following news of a fire on Highway 74 between Mountain Center and Cranston Station in Valle Vista.
A total of four fires are being reported, all suspected to be arson.

UPDATE 1:33 p.m.: Cal Fire's air attack crew is reporting a rapid rate of spread and about 800 acres with a 1,500-plus acre imminent potential.

CORRECTION: Highway 74 from Palm Desert is being closed starting from Lake Hemet.

UPDATE 1:21 p.m.: The Incident Commander is calling for an evacuation of everything south of Highway 243 starting at Toll Gate Road.


The fire information call center for the public is now open. Call 909-383-5688 for information.

Photo by Holly Parsons
Photo by Holly Parsons
Photo by Holly Parsons

UPDATE 1:06 p.m.: Highway 243 at Banning is closed to southbound traffic coming into Idyllwild. Vehicles heading north on Highway 243 are permitted to pass through.

UPDATE 12:55 p.m.: A hard closure of Highway 74 at Cranston Station is being requested of CHP by Cal Fire. A hard closure means no vehicles are allowed in either direction unless under an evacuation order.

UPDATE 12:51 p.m.: A hard closure of Highway 74 at Palm Desert is being requested of CHP by Cal Fire.

Taken from McCall Park Road around 12:30 p.m.
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

UPDATE 12:49 p.m.: Mountain Center is being placed under an evacuation order.

VIDEO taken at about 12:45 p.m. on Highway 74 coming up from Hemet by Idyllwild resident Jeff Adams.

UPDATE 12:42 p.m.: Cal Fire has requested CHP shut down Highway 74 at Lake Hemet coming up from Palm Desert as well.

UPDATE 12:40 p.m.: Cal Fire is asking CHP to shut down all roads onto the mountain.

UPDATE 12:38 p.m.: Highway 243 coming up through Banning is being closed completely due to the California Highway Patrol website.

UPDATE 12:34 p.m.: The Cal Fire Command Center is being moved to Keen Wild Station.

UPDATE 12:35 p.m.: The entire West Ridge area is being evacuated.

UPDATE 12:23 p.m.: The fire is 100 yards or less from Inspiration Point. Town Crier reporter Holly Parsons is at Inspiration Point and was told to evacuate. Double View Drive residents are being evacuated now.

UPDATE 12:20 p.m.: Cal Fire crews were focusing their efforts on the Inspiration Point area at the end of Double View Drive.

The fire at about 12:15 p.m. from Highway 74 west of Mountain Center.
Photo by Jack Clark

UPDATE 12:12 p.m.: Air attack of the fire has already begun. Cal Fire has ordered five engines for structure defense. Cal Fire has ordered a total of 10 air tankers.

Highway 74 is being closed in both directions between Mountain Center and Cranston. Cal Fire is requesting the road closure.

Updates will be posted as information becomes available. The fire is west of the sewer ponds below Idyllwild Arts.

At 11:50 a.m. CHP received a report of a possible arsonist who set fires on highways 74 and 243. Hemet Police Department was pursuing the report of the suspicious vehicle.

The Cranston Incident fire can be seen from the Town Crier building on North Circle Drive.
Photo by Halie Wilson