Apple Fire: 7,800 California residents ordered to evacuate as blaze threatens 2,600 homes

CHERRY VALLEY, Calif. — A wildfire in California caused officials to evacuate 7,800 residents from about 2,600 homes in Cherry Valley.

The Apple Fire, which has scorched nearly 12,000 acres of land in Riverside County since it ignited Friday, forced officials to issue a mandatory evacuation order, the Desert Sun of Palm Springs reported.

Nearly, 375 firefighters, along with five air tankers, four helicopters and three bulldozers continued to fight to control the wildfire, which remains at 0% containment, the newspaper reported.

No injuries have been reported, but at least one home has been destroyed, KABC reported.

The blaze began shortly before 5 p.m. Friday with “at least” two fires burning near each other, the Desert Sun reported.

Temperatures soaring above 100 degrees, low humidity, a slight breeze and thick vegetation are helping to feed the flames, Cal Fire Capt. Fernando Herrera told the newspaper.

“Lots of oils in, so when it’s going up these canyons, it’s creating all that heat because of those oils and those fuels,” Cal Fire Capt. Richard Cordova told KABC. “And what you’ll see is these big plumes of smoke going up, especially the darker (ones), and once it gets into the atmosphere, it’ll start creating its own weather.”

Due to the fire, forest officials announced that they had closed the San Gorgonio Wilderness, a roughly 96,000-acre area north of the blaze, the Desert Sun reported.

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