The Banning, California, wildfire has injured three and forced hundreds to evacuate. The Silver Fire now covers more than nine square miles in Southern California.
Nearly 1,500 people were forced to leave their homes. Fire and emergency personnel responded to the scene on Wednesday. Despite their efforts, the fire is burning out of control.
As reported by CBS News, 1,000 emergency workers, including firefighters, have responded to the scene. Two firefighters and one local resident were injured as the blaze continued to spread. All three were taken to the hospital for treatment. The severity of their injuries is unknown.
The Banning, California, fire is located in the San Jacinto Mountains. Officials state that the blaze started at around 2 pm on Wednesday. The wildfire spread quickly, covering thousands of acres within hours.
The weather and climate have only fueled the Silver Fire. The region is naturally hot and dry, and winds have reached 30 mph. The area remains under a Fire Weather Watch Red Flag Warning.
Officials have evacuated several communities, including Twin Pines, Silent Valley Club, Edna Valley, Vista Grande, and Poppet Flats. Five helicopters and over 500 firefighters have worked to protect homes. Sections of Highway 243 have also been closed.
As reported by KRNV News, evacuated residents are being housed at the Banning and Hemet high schools. Evacuees are thankful that they are safe. However, personal effects are a concern. Margaret Runnels and her husband were forced to leave their home on short notice:
“I was hoping they would let me back up to get some personal items I knew my husband would forget like a jewelry box and stuff that means stuff… You always tell yourself to prepare everything but you never take the stupid time to do it.”
The Banning, California, Silver Fire has destroyed numerous homes. As residents mourn the loss of their homes, and sentimental items, they are thankful they escaped with their lives.