• Fri. Dec 8th, 2023

Southern California firefighters battle 3 wildfires amid hot, dry weather

Southern California firefighters battle 3 wildfires amid hot, dry weather

Firefighters in Southern California are battling three separate brush fires that started Friday afternoon amid some of the hottest weather of the year.

MORENO VALLEY, Calif. — Firefighters in Southern California were battling three separate brush fires.

The fires were within 40 miles (65 km) of each other in mostly rural areas across Riverside County, southeast of Los Angeles.

About 1,000 homes are under evacuation orders, but no injuries or property losses were immediately reported, according to California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials, known as the Cal Fire.

Two had stopped spreading by evening. A third “rapidly” grew to more than 2 square miles (5 square kilometers) within hours, Cal Fire said in a social media post.

Hundreds of firefighters were dispatched.

California is headed for some of the hottest weather of the year so far this weekend, and Riverside County is one of the areas under extreme heat warnings.

Already scorching temperatures in Nevada, Arizona and California are forecast to rise further, with some desert areas topping 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48.8 degrees Celsius) during the day and staying in the 90s (above 32.2 degrees Celsius) at night.

California leaders had warned earlier in the week about the fire danger.

“As we get deeper into summer and the vegetation that grew in a wet spring dries out, we’re seeing an increase in wildfire activity,” California Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crofoot said at a news conference Wednesday.

The causes of all three fires are under investigation, Cal Fire said.

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