Firefighters from the Idyllwild Fire Protection District (IFPD), Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department Stations 23 and 72 and the U.S. Forest Service – San Bernardino National Forest responded to a house fire on West Ridge Road Sunday afternoon.
Initially, the call came in at 2:07 p.m. as a structure fire on Saunders Meadow Road at the CR&R/Idyllwild Transfer Station.
IFPD Chief Mark LaMont said they found out the fire was actually on West Ridge Road as fire personnel were en route.
Charles Phelan, Tahquitz Peak Fire Lookout volunteer, told the newspaper he had two new volunteers up to train at the tower Sunday. They were out on the south side of the tower and one of the trainees saw the smoke at about 2:05 p.m. They used the Osborne Fire Finder to (((APPEND)))locate the fire and gave a landmark description. Phelan told the newspaper they called it in to San Bernardino National Forest dispatch at 2:07 p.m. as West Ridge and described the smoke because it was continuing to build.
“We could see the fire without binoculars,” Phelan said.
It took about an hour to get the fire out before firefighters entered the house to search for anyone who may have been inside.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Jim LaMont, IFPD captain/paramedic and deputy fire marshal, is investigating the cause.
Multiple people pulled over on Highway 243 between the transfer station and Marian View Drive to view the fire.