It’s an up-hill battle for firefighters working to contain a wildfire burning near Beaumont.
“We have approximately 900 firefighters out there, a combination of fire engines and hand crews. We’re continuing suppression efforts,” Cal Fire’s Pete Blakemore said.
Crews’ relentless efforts kept the fire from spreading throughout the day. People in the area have been closely watching the fire that has left the hills blackened.
“Red, orange… we were right there seeing it. Even though we were a couple miles away, it was scary, like something that was coming to us,”Beaumont resident Alejandra Luna said.
“I think it’s really sad. I know there’s fires in Colorado and New Mexico, and I think it’s really sad,” Temecula resident Karen Vega said.
Water dropping helicopters helped from above as firefighters had to deal with hilly terrain to gain containment from the ground. Ninety degree plus temperatures also didn’t make things any easier. Fortunately, the winds died down, stopping the flames from spreading as quickly as they had when the fire started.
“I feel sorry for firemen, because the wind kills, it makes it so hard for them,”Vega said.
While firefighters kept the wildfire in Beaumont from spreading, they did have to divert their attention a bit to another small blaze that popped up nearby in Banning. The 15 acre fire broke out on Highway 243 and Mount Edna Road around noon. Crews contained it just a few hours later, letting them refocus on the problem at hand in Beaumont.
“It is a pretty isolated area of Riverside County, mostly wildland area,” Blakemore said.
Hopefully soon the smoke will be cleared.