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Deadly Fairview Fire burning in Hemet jumps to 2,400 acres overnight

The Fairview Fire burning in Hemet grew overnight as crews worked Tuesday to gain containment of the blaze.

The wildfire jumped from 2,000 acres Monday night to 2,400 acres by Tuesday morning, Cal Fire Chief Josh Janssen said during a morning news conference.

The blaze remained just 5% contained and had the potential to grow as large as 7,000 acres.

“The fire activity has been very unpredictable,” Cal Fire spokesperson Rob Roseen said. Aircraft should be back over the fire helping ground crews by 8 a.m., Roseen said.

The fire broke out around 2 p.m. Monday and spread rapidly through the city of Hemet in Riverside County.

Two people were killed and another was injured as they were attempting to flee but were overcome by the fire, Janssen said.

It was unknown if the people were related or from the same household.

Janssen did not have an update on how many structures were damaged or destroyed in the fire but Cal Fire tweeted that seven structures had been destroyed as of Monday night.

Firefighting crews were not only contending with challenging terrain, smoke, and flames from the fire but also triple-digit temperatures. The high reached 105 degrees in Hemet Monday afternoon and a prolonged heat wave is likely to keep temperatures near that number again Tuesday.

Mandatory evacuations for about 3,400 homes are in place for areas south of Stetson Avenue, north of Cactus Valley Road, west of Bautista Canyon and east of State Street.

Tap here for an interactive evacuations map

An evacuation center has been opened at Tahquitz High School located at 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet. Small animals can be brought to the location, Riverside County Emergency Management Department spokesperson Shane Reichardt said.

The Hemet Unified School District announced that all schools will remain closed Tuesday. The District will provide updates on the closure to students and families, Reichardt said.

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