Cranston fire threatens Idyllwild; arson suspect arrested

fire photoIdyllwild fire seen from Palm Springs (Photo © Cliff Schiappa)

UPDATED 8:30 a.m. 7/27

The Cranston fire has blackened at least 11,500 acres and as of Friday morning was only slightly contained. The fire increased in size by about 4,000 acres overnight and was only 3% contained Friday morning, down from 5% Thursday afternoon.

At least five homes have been destroyed and more than 6,000 people have been evacuated.

UPDATED 2:30 p.m. 7/26

Smoke and haze blanketed the Coachella Valley as a fast-moving fire threatened Idyllwild Wednesday. At last five homes were destroyed and hundreds of others were in danger as the fire swept across 4,700 acres. Authorities said the fire’s origin was suspicious and a 32-year-old Temecula man was arrested.

The Cranston fire began about noon and spread rapidly, according to San Bernardino National Forest officials. More than 2,100 homes were evacuated. By late Wednesday, the first was only 5% contained, officials said.

Brandon N. McGlover was arrested and booked on suspicion of five counts of arson to wild land, National Forest officials said. He was accused of setting several fires in southwest Riverside County and on adjacent federal land Wednesday.

Evacuations ordered

  • As of 1:30pm PST on July 26th, evacuations have been ordered for Idyllwild, the Apple Canyon Area, Mountain Center Community, the Lake Hemet area, Cedar Glen, Fern Valley, Pine Cove, and the Hurkey Creek Area.
  • The evacuation shelter for individuals and small pets is: Banning High School, 100 West Westward Avenue, Banning, CA 92220.
  • FEMA has issued a disaster declaration, making the area eligible for federal assistance and programs.
  • The fire call center has been opened, so if you have any questions or concerns, you can call 909-383-5688.
  • You can stay updated about the fire’s spread by visiting the National Wildfire Coordinating Group’s website or following the San Bernardino National Forest on Twitter.