Fire tornadoes swirl in deadly Hemet blaze


By Tuesday evening, the Fairview fire near Hemet had burned through 4,500 acres and fire officials continued to expand evacuation orders as the blaze threatened about 3,500 structures.

At least seven structures were destroyed and several more were damaged, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Two residents in Avery Canyon were killed while trying to flee, officials said. A third was injured.

The cause of the fire remained unknown, but Southern California Edison reported “circuit activity” about the same time the first flames were reported at 3:37 p.m., the utility company said.

A horse stands along State Street as heavy smoke billows from the Fairview fire

A horse stands along State Street as heavy smoke billows from the Fairview fire in Avery Canyon on Tuesday near Hemet.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

The Fairview fire burns along Batista Road near Hemet

The Fairview fire burns along Batista Road near Hemet.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A Chinook helicopter makes a water drop  in Avery Canyon.

A Chinook helicopter makes a water drop in Avery Canyon on Tuesday.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

A firefighter battles the Fairview fire along Batista Road near Hemet

A firefighter battles the Fairview fire along Batista Road near Hemet.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

Robert Monje gives water to his dogs after evacuating

Robert Monje gives water to his dogs after evacuating his residence along Batista Road near Hemet.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

The Fairview fire burns along Batista Road near Hemet on Tuesday.

The Fairview fire burns along Batista Road near Hemet on Tuesday.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A horse marked by red fire retardant waits for its owner on Gibble Road

A horse marked by red fire retardant waits for its owner on Gibble Road, where many structures were burned.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

A firefighting jumbo jet is dwarfed by a plume of smoke

A firefighting jumbo jet is dwarfed by a plume of smoke from the Fairview fire.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

The front of a car on Gibble Road melted in the heat of the Fairview fire

The front of a car on Gibble Road melted in the heat of the Fairview fire.

(Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times)

Motorists flee the Fairview fire as it burns long Batista Road

Motorists flee the Fairview fire as it burns along Batista Road.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A firefighter battles the Fairview fire along Batista Road

A firefighter battles the Fairview fire along Batista Road.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

A jumbo jet drops fire retardant ahead of the Fairview fire

A jumbo jet drops fire retardant ahead of the Fairview fire near Hemet.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

The Fairview fire lights up the night sky over Hemet

The Fairview fire lights up the night sky over Hemet on Tuesday.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)

The sun sets behind a pall of smoke from the Fairview fire

The sun sets behind a pall of smoke from the Fairview fire on Tuesday.

(Luis Sinco/Los Angeles Times)



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