Crews continue to work to contain a brush fire near Sage that has blackened 3,000 acres, injured three people and destroyed four structures, including a house that collapsed while engulfed in flames.
The fire, which was 15 percent contained this morning, was reported around 1 p.m. Tuesday between Temecula and Anza. It's burning in the vicinity of Sage and Lewis Valley roads and prompted fire officials to order the evacuation of 47 homes, said Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.
Smoke from this fire is drifting to the north into the Coachella Valley, Morongo Valley and Yucca Valley areas.
One civilian suffered serious burns and was airlifted to a hospital, and two firefighters were hospitalized after suffering minor injuries in what has been dubbed the Buck Fire, said Hagemann.
Forty-one engine crews, eight water tender crews and six hand crews -- numbering about 400 people -- were working to contain the wildfire with the help of six air tankers, six water-dropping helicopters and four bulldozers. Planes could be seen dropping red retardant on the fire throughout the day
Crews from the Los Angeles County and Orange County fire departments as well as from the U.S. Forest Service were assisting in the fight against the Buck Fire.
Officials Tuesday ordered 47 homes evacuated, and the occupants of 32 complied, Hagemann said. An evacuation center, staffed by American Red Cross representatives, was set up at 30875 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula.
The Ramona Animal Shelter at 690 Humane Way in San Jacinto was being used as an evacuation depot for dogs, cats and other small pets. Larger animals, including horses, were being accepted at Helton Hay and Feed at 26852 Bradley Road in Menifee.
Though officials didn't immediately confirm the types of structures burned, broadcast images clearly showed a house collapsing, fully engulfed in flames.
It wasn't immediately clear how the fire started. Thunderstorms moved through the area over the weekend, but there were no reports of lightning strikes Tuesday.