BEAUMONT, California – A wildfire in northwest Palm Springs rekindled on Saturday, prompting eviction orders for thousands of people as firefighters battled the fire that has consumed more than 12,000 acres in extreme heat.
An unspecified number of homes were in the path of the flames but were not in imminent danger, CalFire captain Fernando Herrera told The Press-Enterprise, a Riverside newspaper.
The fire, which started as two adjacent fires, was reported shortly before 5:00 p.m. Friday in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the town of Beaumont, in Riverside County. The flames advanced from the top of a summit and approached the homes as about 375 firefighters battled it by land and air, according to authorities.
The so-called Apple Fire doubled its extent overnight and covers more than 15.5 square kilometers (six square miles). Approximately 7,800 people have been asked to evacuate more than 2,500 homes, according to fire personnel. Hundreds of people in the neighborhoods on the slopes north of Beaumont received mandatory eviction orders.
A house has been destroyed. Herrera said firefighters are having a hard time assessing damage because heat prevents them from stepping on the surface.
The National Weather Service issued an excessive heat warning as southern California experiences a heat wave.
Saturday afternoon 105 degrees Fahrenheit (41 centigrade) was recorded in Palm Springs.