New York Daily News
About 7,800 people in Southern California have been told to leave their homes because they are threatened by a wildfire.
The Apple Fire in Cherry Valley, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, had burned 4,100 acres as of Saturday night, the Los Angeles Times reported. Fire officials said that it was 0% contained.
One man, who did not yet know the fire was burning out of control and that professional firefighters couldn’t handle it, attempted to fend it off with a garden hose.
“That was one of the stupidest things I could suggest doing,” Rick Stewart told Riverside County newspaper The Press-Enterprise. The fire jumped 300 yards in about 10 seconds and Stewart quickly joined his wife, Rose, in fleeing. “That was like staring into the eyes of hell, and that is the reason I’ll never do it again.”
The fire started Friday afternoon at around 5 p.m. local time, according to the Times. Two smaller fires merged into one, leading to the towering inferno.
So far, no one has died or been injured because of the fire, the Palm Springs Desert Sun reported. One home has been destroyed, and two other non-resident structures burned to the ground as well. Local fire shelters for evacuees have taken unique measures to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
Approximately 2,600 houses were threatened by the fire as of Saturday night, fire officials told the Desert Sun. Around 6,300 people live in the Cherry Valley area, according to the 2010 census.
Weather conditions were supremely unhelpful for fighting a fire, as temperatures in Riverside County reached 105 degrees Saturday.
Officials said they suspect the fire was caused by arson but haven’t been able to properly investigate it yet. The Apple Fire has nothing to do with the technology company of the same name that is headquartered 420 miles north in Cupertino, Calif.
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