Buck Fire Downgraded

The Buck fire burning in Aguanga is now 40% contained

From the fire lines of the "Buck Fire"

AGUANGA, Calif. - Firefighters have downgraded the acreage of the Buck Fire to 2,681 acres, and say they have 60 percent containment. 

The downgrade from 3,000 acres is attributed to more accurate mapping.

Full containment expected at 8:00 a.m. Saturday.

Riverside County Fire Dept. Public Information Officer, Glenn Barley tells us, "It still has a lot of potential, so are out there working it hard. trying to keep it in the box."

The command center in Hemet is buzzing with activity, as crews come and go, battling the fire about 40 miles south of Beaumont, 20 miles southwest of Idyllwild, and 20 miles east of Temecula. At least four structures, including one home, are destroyed. Barley says, "We have additional resources coming in this morning. They're headed into the line now and taking a look at it from the air to see what additional air resources they might need to get."
You can still see and smell smoke from the valley floor. Some people have even reported seeing falling ash.

A mandatory evacuation order for 137 homes in the area of Checkmate,
Garrett, Reed Valley and Stanley roads was lifted effective 6 p.m. Wednesday by
Riverside County emergency operations officials.

Even though the area is sparsely populated, so far two residents suffered burn injuries. Barley says, "One wasn't severe enough to be transported by helicopter and the other by ground ambulance."

Authorities said the man, whose home was in a remote area, apparently had not received a notice to evacuate. Two firefighters suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital and then released. Besides listening to evacuation orders, fire officials have one more reminder for residents living close-by. Barley says, "Any clearing they do around their property to help make a better case for themselves once the fire hits can only help us protect their home."

Thunderstorms moved through the area over the weekend. According to Cal
Fire, a lightning strike ignited the blaze.

Fire crews also discovered two marijuana plantations while working the fire.

It was unclear if anyone would be charged in connection with the pot farms.

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