Evacuations Ordered In Southwest Idyllwild Over Fast-Moving Cranston Fire

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The fire has forced evacuations of more than 2,100 homes. The fire continued to spread rapidly amid a powerful Southern California heat wave.

The blaze grew by roughly 4 square miles as it burned through rough terrain and dry brush, but U.S. Forest Service spokesman Lee Beyer said it appeared to be moving into less populated areas in its second day.

The fire was the largest of at least five that police believe were purposely set by Mc Glover on Wednesday.

The other wildland fires, according to fire authorities, are "within Southwest Riverside County and Federal areas along State Highway 74 in the San Bernardino National Forest".

California Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency in Riverside County Thursday as a massive fire tore through thousands of acres near Idyllwild in the San Jacinto Mountains.

The blaze has almost tripled in size overnight and was threatening areas west of Redding.

Evacuation orders are in place for about 16,000 people in the town of Idyllwild, the community of Mountain Center and the areas of Apple Canyon, Hurkey Creek and Lake Hemet.

Brandon N. McGlover, 32, of Temecula was booked on suspicion of five counts of arson, state fire officials said. "We live in a lovely town", Achtner told the newspaper.

The park itself is not in imminent danger, but the areas are being used for fire operations and are also filled with unhealthy amounts of smoke. About 200 were at a local high school serving as a shelter, KCAL-TV reported.

"We had one guest who planned a weeklong trip", said Tom Lambert, who owns a vacation rental property near Yosemite Valley.

By late afternoon Thursday, it covered 7,500 acres - or just over 11 square miles - and was still 5 percent contained, according to the San Bernardino National Forest.

A bulldozer operator was killed and three firefighters were injured Thursday as they battled an erratic and fast-moving wildfire in Northern California.