Palm Springs Homes Evacuated as Wildfire Sweeps Through Dry Brush

October 27, 2006

A wildfire swept through dry brush near Palm Springs, Calif., early Thursday, threatening homes and businesses and forcing evacuations.

The blaze had burned more than 800 acre (320 hectares) within its first six hours, and 25 mph (40 kph) wind was quickly spreading the flames, said Becky Luther, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department.

The fire was burning in a valley with a few scattered ranch homes, but the hamlets of Poppet Ranch and Twin Pines were evacuated, along with a juvenile center. About 100 homes were ordered evacuated, police said.

“The biggest concern is if it gets over the hills,” Luther said. “That’s where all of the homes are.”

Luther said residents of the community of Twin Pines Ranch were told to leave their homes and a boys’ juvenile center, Twin Pines Boys Ranch, was evacuated. It was not immediately clear how many homes had been evacuated. Some along a ridge could be seen silhouetted by the flames behind them.

Cabazon is about 90 miles (145 kilometers) east of Los Angeles and 17 miles northwest of Palm Springs in Riverside County.

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