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UPDATE: Brush Fire Burning Near Temecula Scorches 3,000 Acres

Dubbed the “Buck Fire,” the blaze was reported to fire officials just before 1 p.m. Tuesday.


UPDATED AT 10:30 p.m. Aug. 14: Four structures have been destroyed, a civilian has been severely burned, two firefighters have been injured, 32 residences have been evacuated, and more are threatened due to the fast-moving Buck Fire in Aguanga, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

At press time, the blaze was mapped at 3,000 acres and is only 5 percent contained.

Cal Fire spokesman Glenn Barley confirmed the fire initially ate up 1,800 acres by 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"It's burned pretty agressively throughout the day," he said of the blaze. "It's still burning heavy at the head of the fire. Others [homes] are threatened."

As the sun set Tuesday, Barley said firefighters would be working through the night and Wednesday.

Two firefighters have been injured in the blaze and were transported to a local hospital, although Cal Fire reports the injuries were minor.

A civilian was transported to a local hospital via air for treatment of serious burn injuries, Cal Fire has confirmed.

The blaze was reported to fire officials just before 1 p.m. Tuesday and was initially burning near Sage Road, between Lewis Valley and Buck roads. At press time, firefighters were battling the blaze in Reed Valley.

Two-hundred and ten firefighters are on scene, including "significant" ground and air resources, Cal Fire reports.

Mandatory evacuations were ordered for residents north of Sage Road, south of Stanley Road, east of Benton Road and west of Reed Valley Road. An evacuation center has been opened by the American Red Cross at the Community Recreation Center, located at 30875 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula.

Greg Good lost his trailer home in the blaze and appeared at the evacuation center tonight in tears. Lynda Shoemaker, a Red Cross volunteer who is managing the center tonight, said Good told her he was trying to douse flames when his dogs escaped and went missing. They are described as large brown Scottish Deerhounds. Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

Good was the only evacuee at the center as of 7 p.m. Tuesday.

A Patch reporter at the fire scene said the blaze was located in a remote area that's difficult to reach. Homes and ranches dot the landscape, but it appears most residents cleared out of areas immediately threatened. Firefighters are posted at homes located close to the blaze.

Melanie Helton, owner of Helton Hay and Feed in Menifee, said she and her husband can take in horses and other livestock that may be displaced by the blaze. The couple own a 6-acre ranch near their feedstore and said they have room to house at-risk animals.

Additionally, Helton said the horse community has reached out to her and she now has a list of other property owners throughout Riverside County who can take animals that need temporary shelter due to the fire. She also has an extensive list of volunteers who can help with transport.

"It's great to see the community come together," she said.

Helton can be reached throughout the night at (951) 775-2226.

Riverside County's San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus located at 581 S. Grand Ave. can be used, if necessary, as a place where property owners forced to evacuate can bring small animals.

"We will have staff members there throughout the night and into the early morning hours," said Riverside County Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh.

Additionally, county animal services representatives are on scene in the Buck Fire area to assist with pet and livestock evacuations, Welsh said.

A clerk at Aguanga General Store on State Route 79 said the market remained open for business Tuesday and was never immediately threatened by the fire. Although there was a great deal of smoke, the clerk said as afternoon winds picked up and began blowing eastward, visibility near the store improved.

Battling the blaze is a multi-agency effort. Cal Fire teams from Riverside and San Diego counties are assigned, as well as personnel from the Orange County Fire Authority and the U.S. Forest Service, according to Cal Fire reports. Also assisting with coordination are the American Red Cross, Riverside County Office of Emergency Services, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and Southern California Edison.

It’s not clear what may have sparked the blaze, although fire officials were on high alert due to weather conditions that called for afternoon thunderstorms and lightning.

Adrian August 15, 2012 at 01:10 AM
@Barbara. Per Cal Fire, at 5:55pm the fire was at 600 acres and it appears to be moving East.
Adrian August 15, 2012 at 01:11 AM
@Shannon. Wow, I happened heard that update! It is moving rapidly. My phone has been slow, so I haven't been streaming Radioreference.
Adrian August 15, 2012 at 01:12 AM
**hadn't
Dustin vangeison August 15, 2012 at 01:16 AM
there has been air drops. as far as i know from what i can hear on the radio scanner it sounds like there is a few planes and a few heli's
Barbara R August 15, 2012 at 01:55 AM
@shannon @Adrian That (1600+) is a little closer to the evidence I'm seeing. These planes over the house make me want to cry for those who are in the path of this inferno. The smoke has moved to the southeast but is still very black - no white smoke from water drops. Channel 7 was showing live video and they are dropping Phoscheck (sp?). Every few minutes there is a plane but it's better than hearing none I guess. Be safe everyone -
Al Lee August 15, 2012 at 02:13 AM
Yes be safe everyone. A few years ago during the Oceanside, Camp Pendleton fire, my home bordered the Pendleton fence it was one of the most horrifying sites ive ever witnessed. I sent the wife, kid and dogs off in the car and stayed and luckily for my home their was a fire break and the wind changed direction and stopped the fire at the break.....along with a thousand brave firefighters.
colleen August 15, 2012 at 02:50 AM
Kudo's Brenda,You've been a big HELP! I guess I can't see them b-cuz of the plume. Thanx again.
KJO August 15, 2012 at 03:01 AM
We were in the Valley Center fire back in 2004, horrible horrible...Our home was spared but two lives were lost. My heart goes out to everyone affected by this devastating fire. My kids and I will be going to the Red Cross tomorrow to see if we can help in any way..
Shannon Starr August 15, 2012 at 03:33 AM
The wind tonight, according to weather.com for the Aguanga area, is from the WSW at 5-10 mph and temps to upper 60s.
Ketti S August 15, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Picture from our house in Glenoaks as of about 8 pm: http://imgur.com/50ZcI Certainly making me nervous.
So Cal Smitten August 15, 2012 at 04:08 AM
KJO- that's a great idea to go to the shelter to see if you can help! I think I'll do the same :)
Elstoneking August 15, 2012 at 05:14 AM
I live in Glen Oaks as well, and the wind has been in our favor all day. We should be fine. Google maps has the fire as 6 miles away, but again, we should be ok.
shane August 15, 2012 at 05:14 AM
Here are a couple photos of it at night. Im in no way glorifying this fire with my images - as I hope no more damage is done to anyone's home. The mesmerizing view of the fire at night is definitely quite a sight. http://www.flickr.com/photos/38075989@N07/7786231322/ http://www.flickr.com/photos/38075989@N07/7786229120/
Shannon Starr August 15, 2012 at 05:28 AM
At 10:30 3000 acres at five percent containment per the scanner.
Sheryl Martin August 15, 2012 at 07:09 AM
Which direction is the fire moving?
Mark August 15, 2012 at 07:28 AM
To the north. I think.
Sierra Mist August 15, 2012 at 09:08 AM
I know that the firemen around her are excellent.I will be forever grateful how they saved our house and animals while we were not even home. We came home and the fire was just feet from our backyard.They had also saved a lot of other homes as well.Murrieta and Temecula have a lot of experience with fires I Believe the Hemet area is also experienced. It is great that many other firemen have come to help also. I'm sure they will do a great job getting this fire out although it does sound challenging.
Jennifer Cartell August 15, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Any update on the fire right now?
Sighthoundma August 15, 2012 at 04:18 PM
Does anyone know if Greg Good's Scottish Deerhounds have been located. I do not know Greg, my heart goes out to him...Scottish Deerhounds are gentle giants... I would like to help if anyone has any suggestions or new information.
Sylver Weddings August 15, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Anyone know if red mountain road is affected? I used to live on a ranch there of 350 acres. The owner only visits his property occasionally. He had horses and other livestock, and I don't know if they were evacuated...
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Thanks for the link John, my darn speakers, headset's arent working, RAWR I love my grandson :) LOL
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Yep, thanks Jim. Wonderful pictures and video from all who sent them in. Sad to see, but also inspiring and a relief to know so many are there to stop this thing.
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Met a lady in the doctors office who has horses. We talked for a moment and she told me that usually most all animals, horses especially are just let loose. They find safety and they find their way home. She said in the times everyone has had to let their horses loose during fires that everyone has always managed to round up all their horses!!! That gives new meaning to let your horse be a little bit "barn sour" right? :) I just think thats a miracle that from past fires all horses were saved, and found by owners.
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:10 PM
Actually I was seeing the puffy white clouds from drops starting as early as 2pm to 215pm. Then continued on while I was still visible into 4pm at least. I believe they do stop water drops at night.
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:12 PM
Welcome Colleen, and I think I was in a perfect place directly in line with the fire and Loma Linda hospital, and could have kicked myself in the butt for not taking pictures :/. Someone did post a video up here on one of the articles however of the very early waterh drop helicopters. I also think they stop at dark.
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:15 PM
You are right Shane, and I realize you are not glorifying it. Its like the ocean, and other catastrophies pictures are taken of. Earthquake damage, fires, rain and storms etc. It just shows us how devastating nature can be in our lives. Its pictures you can just sit and look at for a long time reflecting on it. :/
wayne demann August 15, 2012 at 07:22 PM
My cousin and family live at the end of lewis Valley Rd. They tried to get their dogs but were not allowed to get them. The people below (mannie, his wife), and the farm house below them have horses. One way in and out. I hope all are safe. Life is not easy living in rural areas. Wayne in NorCal.
Brenda August 15, 2012 at 07:56 PM
That doesnt sound right Wayne. If the animals fit in the car or truck they can take them. Unless its a close call, the fire dept wants them out now and they have to look over 2 acres to find the dogs. Cause you will not find those dogs in a fire if they are already OUT. They are well on their way into severe panic mode and running all over hell and back in fear. Otherwise, I have never heard of a fireman or anyone else saying someone could not take their animals if they had they in the car, or in a trailer ready to go. If its running very short, as in the people waiting till the last damn second and the fire is at their back door endangering themselves and FIRE MEN, then yes of course the firemen would tell them leave the animals get in the car and get out of here NOW. Everyone up there within 3 or 4 even 5 miles of that fire should have their animals tired up, boxes in cars or trucks ready to go, private papers, a bag of clothes and either leave now before an evacuation which is the smartest, or at least be damn well ready. If you have horses have them in trailer ready to go, same with other animals. In the fires I was in, I learned at the first one to get the hell out of there, that firemen and wind etc. are not always true, amd right, better to be safe, get everyone OUT, and safe. Otherwise they give you 10 minutes, thats IT, 10 minutes to get loaded up and out of there.
grandpa pete August 16, 2012 at 02:40 AM
are any roads closed heading torwards sandiego
Brenda August 16, 2012 at 03:13 AM
Not so far Pete except there was a sig alert for a motorcycle down on the 15, between Rancho and Winchester but that was 2 hours ago. You should be fine going north or south of San Diego at the moment. Course that could change at any time. Have a safe drive.

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