(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.
(UPDATED at 4:03 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.
— CA Fire Scanner (@CAFireScanner) July 26, 2018
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.
(Originally published at 10 a.m. PDT July 26, 2018)
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.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s office has issued evacuation orders for several communities:
- 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.