UPDATE: 'Highland' Blaze 10 Percent Contained

The fire at Potrero Road, near Wolfskill Extension Truck Trail, was reported at 1:20 p.m.

Update 11 p.m.: 

The California Highway Patrol advises Banning-Beaumont Patch that there is NO closure along Highway 79, despite earlier concerns that this may be the case.

However, the city of Beaumont has closed Highland Springs Ave., south of 1st Street, and officials ask that residents avoid the area to make it easier for fire crews to get to where they need to go quickly.

Those residents mainly affected by this closure are those who live in the Four Seasons community; however residents are allowed to get past the police lines and into their homes, the officials informed Patch.


Update 10:10 p.m.:

The "Highland Fire," so far mapped at 2,000 acres, was 10 percent contained Saturday night.

Firefighters were working through the night to stop the spread and control the flames.

"The fire is burning in steep and rugged terrain," Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department said, adding that no structures are threatened and no evacuations are needed at this time.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.


Update 8:30 p.m.: Cal Fire was awaiting more resources to fight the "Highland" Blaze, last reported at 2,000 acres, with no containment in sight.

“The fire’s still growing," Cal Fire Capt. Rick Griggs told Patch Saturday night.

“We’re putting a lot of resources into the fire," Griggs said, adding that as more crews arrived, firefighters would dig lines to stop the flames.

Griggs said the fire started in the mountains between Banning/Beaumont and the San Jacinto/Hemet Valley areas.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation.

Update 8:20 p.m.:The South Coast Air Quality Management District has warned the the air quality from the "Highland" fire is unhealthy for those in the Banning Pass and near the towns of San Jacinto and Hemet.

Update 7 p.m.:

The "Highland" fire is now at 2,000 acres, with no containment in sight.

Another helicopter crew has gone to assist and firefighters number 285, Cal Fire reports.

Update 5:30 p.m.:

The "Highland" fire in Beaumont burned 1,100 acres by 5:25 p.m., Cal Fire officials reported.

Close to 300 firefighters -- including 12 hand crews -- are at the scene, aided by five air tankers and four helicopters -- were at the scene.

Agencies aiding Cal Fire include the U.S. Forest Service, Cal Fre/San Diego County and the March Air Force Reserve Base, said Cal Fire's Jody Hagemann.


Update 4 p.m.: 

The Riverside County Fire Department now says that the blaze has spread to 600 acres. 

There is still no estimated time as to when the fire could be contained, but no structures are threatened.  Smoke can be seen throughout the San Gorgonio Pass and from as far away as Lake Elsinore at this time.

A massive air attack is underway, with at least 5 air tankers devoted to the blaze, according to Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.

Nearly 300 firefighters are now assigned to the fire.


Updated 3:48 p.m. June 16, 2012.

A fire that started in Beaumont Saturday burned 400 acres, with no containment in sight.


A non-injury wildland fire in Beaumont Saturday quickly scorched 250 acres and was containment was not in site as of 3 p.m.

The fire at Potrero Road, near Wolfskill Extension Truck Trail, was reported at 1:20 p.m.

By 2:50 p.m., the fire had scorched 250 acres of brush, fanned by 21-mph winds blowing in 86-degree temperatures, Cal Fire officials said.

No homes or businesses were threatened and no evacuations were underway, officials said.

There were 255 firefighters on scene, including 12 hand crews, aided by four air tankers and four helicopters, Cal Fire's Jody Hagemann said.

This story will be updated as information becomes available.

bryan sichley June 17, 2012 at 03:42 AM
i live in san jacinto and work in alaska my wife is all alone their please provide updates as soon as possible. thanx
Diane92 June 17, 2012 at 04:33 AM
http://tcfireweb.co.riverside.ca.us/firepio/process?action=viewIncidentHtml&id=28419 perhaps this link help as well.
Renee Schiavone June 17, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Thanks everyone for sharing your updates and pics and video! We'll be adding to/updating the story as we get more information out in the field!
June June 17, 2012 at 06:12 AM
We have been following the fire all day! Now I can see some vehicles up there - probably News Channel 7. Scary with the way the winds keep changing back and forth! And FYI, the fire is not that close to Beaumont. I am looking at the flames right on top of the mountains (as it has been for hours) and I live in San Jacinto! Hoping it doesnt come down the mountains! Prayers and thanks to the firefighters, air tankers and helicopter pilots!!
Bob Botts June 17, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Hi Renee: I already posted to HD video's of the helicopters using the water from Sun Lakes, Lakes. Pretty handy for Cal Fire when we have these local fires.


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