1,500 Acre Fire Racing Toward California Homes

A 1,500 acre fire in California is burning out of control and moving rapidly toward homes as firefighters race to protect those caught in its path.

The 1,500 acre fire is about 80 miles east of Los Angeles but moving rapidly due to strong winds and overly dry conditions.

Reports say there are 400 firefighters on the scene, battling the blaze with the support of at least one air tanker dropping water on the fire. Many were trying to protect a group of homes located on a ridge as the fired raced uphill toward them.

The team pulled in firefighters from across a wide range of Southern California, including San Bernardino County Fire, Los Angeles County Fire, Orange County Fire, Cal Fire, Chino Valley Fire, Rancho Cucamonga Fire, and San Antonio Heights Fire. Reports said the firefighters were dousing flames as they move at a moderate rate through the landscape.

It wasn’t yet known how many people had to evacuate, but the 1,500 acre fire is said to be growing rapidly.

By Wednesday the fire had already destroyed one home in its path and injured one firefighter.

Joe Kiener, who lost his home to the fire, said it caught him by surprise. He had just finished vacuuming when the fire suddenly overtook his home, destroying the home just as he escaped.

Other residents were not as frightened by the prospect of the 1,500 acre fire.

“I’m not worried because of all of the firemen here working to put it out,” said Rodrigo De Leon, a ranch hand who works at the edge of the fire.

Local authorities have already prepared evacuation centers, including one specifically for small animals and hospitals ready to take in patients who may be hurt from the flames or thick smoke.

Officials still are worried. Winds from the east at close to 30 mph along with temperatures reaching the 80s has some worried that the 1,500 acre fire will continue to move west, forcing more evacuations along the way.