Families Evacuate, Await Return to Homes Amid Fairview Fire

Kamari Esquerra

“We’re not safe yet,” said Ignacio, Fairview Fire evacuee. 

The Fairview Fire spread rapidly overnight. It has now reached 4,000 acres and is still only 5-percent contained.

Tonight, families are evacuating and patiently waiting to see if they have a home to return to. 

“I was not home, when I got here, they wouldn’t let me go there,” said Ignacio. “I lost two sheds, one car and part of a garage.”

Fire crews are working around the clock to stop the fire in its tracks and protect nearby neighborhoods.

However, at this time, officials are unable to provide nearby residents assurance of when they can return home.  

“First and foremost it’s hard for us to predict when they’ll be able to return to their homes,” Sergeant Brandi Swan, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. “So I would expect you to be away from your home at least 5-6 days.”

The Fairview Fire broke out on Monday afternoon just South of Hemet near the intersection of Fairview Avenue and Bautista Road.

Hundreds of crews are battling the fire from the ground and in the air.

“Pretty much using everything that we have,” said Richard Cordova, CalFire Information Officer. “We’re using our dozers, our aircraft, obviously our firefighters on the ground, so we pretty much have every resource available to us.”

“At least 100 officers additionally, are in the area, patrolling the streets, and assisting with safeguarding lives and protecting property for people that had to leave in quite a rush,” said Sergeant Swan.

They’re up against tough terrain – hills, dry brush, and large plots of land. Not only that – extreme heat and unpredictable winds have only added fuel to the fire.

The fire’s already turned deadly and officials believe the two reported deaths were killed while trying to evacuate.

Another person suffered moderate burn injuries. 

Nearly 8,000 homes in and around Hemet and nearby Diamond Lake areas have been or are threatened tonight. 

Thousands of homes remain under evacuation orders. 

“Please adhere to the evacuation order. You may think you have enough time to get out, but what I’ve seen in the last 10 years of my career of how fires have been burning really rapidly, we’ve seen whole communities burn down and communities just like this one,” said Cordova. “So please, if you’re in an evacuation area, please evacuate, listen to law enforcement.”

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