New fire starts 10 miles away from the Cranston Fire

The two fires are burning southeast of Hemet, California

(UPDATED at 5:20 a.m. PDT July 27, 2018)

Below is an updated map of the Cranston Fire, showing data collected at 10:49 PDT July 26. Click on the image to see a larger version.

map Cranston Fire
Map of the Cranston Fire, showing data collected at 10:49 PDT July 26. Click on the image to see a larger version. Product of the Incident Management Team.

(UPDATED at 4:03 p.m. PDT July 26, 2018)

Cranston and Ribbon Fires
The view of the Cranston and Ribbon Fires, from High Point at 3:29 p.m. PDT July 26, 2018.

Now instead of one huge convection column of smoke on the San Bernardino National Forest southeast of Hemet, California there are two.  The second fire, named Ribbon, was discovered around mid-day Thursday.  Air tankers were sent to the new fire to hopefully knock it down and keep it from becoming a second major fire. Firefighters on the ground and in the air did slow it down, but priorities on the Cranston Fire and a shortage of lead planes and air tankers resulted some aircraft moving to the Cranston Fire. The Ribbon Fire later picked up in intensity and developed a large smoke column 10 miles southeast of the Cranston Fire. The Ribbon Fire is northwest of the small community of Ribbonwood off Highway 74.

Late Thursday afternoon a spokesperson for the San Bernardino National Forest said the Cranston Fire has burned approximately 7,500 acres.

Cranston and Ribbon Fires
Map showing the location of the Cranston and Ribbon Fires. The dots represent heat detected by a satellite as late as 3:51 p.m. PDT July 26, 2018. Click to enlarge.

Firefighters on the Cranston Fire Thursday afternoon were very concerned about the convection column collapsing, which would create a powerful downdraft, possibly resulting in a dramatic and sudden change of wind direction — a very dangerous situation, pushing the fire in new directions. Supervisors were warned to maintain close accountability of their personnel and to be prepared to withdraw on very short notice. Firefighters 10 miles away on the Ribbon Fire might even be affected by the collapse of the large column.

Cranston Fire
The Cranston Fire July 26, 2018. Photo by Jeff Zimmerman.

(Originally published at 10 a.m. PDT July 26, 2018)

Brandon McGlover
Brandon McGlover

On Wednesday, July 25, 2018, CAL FIRE Law Enforcement Officers arrested Brandon N. McGlover, 32 of Temecula for allegedly setting multiple fires in southwest Riverside County, California on July 25, 2018. One of the fires he allegedly started is the Cranston Fire on the San Bernardino National Forest. Mr. McGlover was booked on five counts of arson, PC 451( c ). Other charges could be added to the list as the investigation unfolds.

Officers from the Hemet/San Jacinto Valley Gang Task Force located and detained Mr. McGlover after CAL FIRE investigators developed a suspect description and issued a crime bulletin to other local law enforcement agencies.

Wednesday night fire officials estimated that the Cranston Fire had burned approximately 4,700 acres. It is active again Thursday morning and has no doubt grown significantly since Wednesday.

map Cranston Fire July 26, 2018
3-D map showing the APPROXIMATE location of the Cranston Fire at 2:36 a.m. PDT July 26, 2018. The perimeter is based on heat detected by satellites. As shown, it is approximately 5,500 acres. Click to enlarge.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s office has issued evacuation orders for several communities:

  • Idyllwild
  • Apple Canyon Area
  • Lake Hemet Area
  • Mountain Center Community
  • Hurkey Creek Area
  • Camp Scherman Girl Scout Camp

Portions of Highways 74 and 243 are closed.

Cranston Fire
Cranston Fire. InciWeb photo. Date and photographer unknown.

 

Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire. Google+

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