Wildfire in Cherry Valley burns at least 900 acres, evacuations ordered

A wildfire in Cherry Valley in Riverside County grew to 900 acres on Friday evening, and officials said as many as 150 structures could be at risk. Some residents were asked to evacuate.

As of about 10 p.m., fire crews had not managed to contain the fire as it continued its spread.

At around 5 p.m., firefighters responded to a call of a fire at the 9000 block of Oak Glen Road and two others that erupted nearby, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department. The three fires, which started out fairly small, merged into one, dubbed the Apple Fire, threatening structures and prompting evacuations,  fire Capt. Fernando Herrera said.

“The fire remains burning toward the east, toward several homes,” he said.

Evacuations were ordered for residents who live south of the San Bernardino and Riverside county line, east of Oak Glen Road and north of Dutton Street, Herrera said.

A shelter for evacuees was set up at Beaumont High School at 39139 Cherry Valley Blvd. in Beaumont. Evacuees seeking the use of the shelter must first pass a screening for COVID-19, Herrera said.

At least 375 firefighters had responded to the wildfire in addition to multiple air tankers and helicopters. Electricity for the area was powered off as firefighters worked to contain the fire, according to Herrera.

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