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Thursday Evening Wildfire Burns 1000 Acres in San Jacinto Mountains

Posted August 28, 2009, 6:32 AM.

What's been dubbed the Cottonwood fire rapidly burned 1000 acres of San Bernardino National Forest east of Hemet along Highway 74 Thursday evening.

The fire was reportedly about 10 miles east of Hemet, 4 miles east of Valle Vista and about a mile east of Cranston.

Flames were clearly visible to the east Thursday evening through thick smoke. The smoke plume was visible across much of Western Riverside County.

Hot and dry conditions helped the fire spread up the San Jacinto Mountains to the north of the highway. The wildfire was spreading moderately Thursday night and was 5% contained.

Voluntary evacuations were taking place in the vicinity of Bee Canyon.

Fire bombers were active in the evening hours. 320 firefighters were on the scene.

According to the National Forest Service, the cause of the wildfire was under investigation. For incident information, see the National Forest Service report.

Thanks to Daniel Martinez, who contributed to this report.

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