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UPDATE: 280-Acre Mtn Blaze South of Banning Estimate 70 Percent Contained

Shooting was the cause of the Range Fire, which was first reported at 6:10 p.m. Saturday near Old Banning Idyllwild Road and Shirleon Drive, according to Cal Fire.

Update 8:30 p.m. The Range Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains south of Banning was considered 70 percent contained as of 7 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Full containment of the blaze that scorched an estimated 280 acres was expected by 10 a.m. Monday Oct. 1.

"The fire started and burned on an open area used for shooting on BLM land," a Cal Fire update stated.

Update 5:30 p.m. A fourth firefighter was transported for evaluation of unspecified injuries that were not considered life-threatening, according to Cal Fire.

More than 240 firefighters worked through the day Sunday Sept. 30 in temperatures that were expected to peak above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, according to Incident Commander Kevin Gaines.

Update 4:40 p.m. The cause of the Range Fire in the San Jacinto Mountains south of Banning was determined to be shooting, according to a Cal Fire update.

No one had been detained in connection with the fire. A third firefighter was transported for treatment of unspecified injuries, according to Cal Fire.

Fire crews were still working to contain the fire, which was last updated at 280 mapped acres.

Update 2:15 p.m. Fire crews were working near Mt. Edna Road on the east edge of the Range Fire south of Banning and Beaumont as helicopter pilots continued making water drops.

The fire was mapped at 280 acres and considered 20 percent contained as of 1:25 p.m., according to Cal Fire.

Update 12:45 p.m. The Range Fire south of Banning in the San Jacinto Mountains was considered about 20 percent contained as of 12:30 p.m. Sept. 30, Incident Commander Kevin Gaines said in an interview at A.C. Dysart Equestrian Park.

There was very little smoke visible from south Banning but commanders remained concerned because there was "a lot of open fire and we need to get lines completed," Cal-Fire Riverside County Chief John R. Hawkins said at Dysart.

There were still 240 personnel and several helicopters committed to the fire, Gaines said. Estimated acreage burned remained around 300 acres, Gaines said.

"It's still early yet," Gaines said. "The wind and the heat are a concern."

Update 11:15 a.m. Dee Lunn, 88, and other Sun Lakers were glad to see helicopter pilots taking water on from ponds on their golf course in south Banning to fight the 300-acre fire in the San Jacinto Mountains near Poppet Flats.

"There's thirty-three hundred homes and about six thousand people living here," Lunn said, raising her voice as a Vietnam War-era Skycrane helicopter pilot ascended from one of the ponds. "There's always a lot of fires in the San Jacintos and we're happy to see them trying to put this one out."

The fire was considered 5 percent contained as of 10:45 a.m. Sept. 30, according to Cal Fire. There was no estimate for full containment.

Update 9:50 a.m. There are about seven structures including some trailers in the Mount Edna area that are now considered threatened by the northwest edge of the fire, Incident Commander Kevin Gaines said in an interview in south Banning.

No evacuations had been ordered as of 9:45 a.m., Gaines said.

"Still three hundred acres at this point, but anything can happen," Gaines said. "We're starting to feel a little breeze here and it's supposed to be 102 today."

Update 9:35 a.m. A structure threat exists for a handful of homes on the northwest side of the fire, Cal Fire reported in an update at 9:25 a.m.

No evacuations had been ordered, according to Melody Hendrickson of Cal Fire-Riverside County.

Update 9:20 a.m. A second firefighter was injured Sunday morning as crews sought to get a handle on a mountain fire estimated at 300 acres, about four miles northwest of Poppet Flats, Incident Commander Kevin Gaines said in south Banning.

"This fire is in a bad spot, a bad spot," Cal-Fire Riverside County Chief John R. Hawkins said as he arrived to confer with Gaines just after 9 a.m. Sept. 30. "It's bad because it's high, where the winds are blowing, and there's a bad history of fires in that area."

Acreage burned was still estimated at around 300 acres with 240 firefighters assigned, said Gaines, who is a Cal Fire division chief stationed at Cal Fire's Oak Glen Camp.

Gaines, Hawkins and other fire commanders were conferring on strategy for the day at A.C. Dysart Equestrian Park in south Banning, where they had a vantage of the mountainside fire and aircraft working the blaze.

Temperatures were expected to rise above 100 degrees Fahrenheit by Sunday afternoon, Gaines said.

Fire crews were working in steep terrain in an unpopulated area, Gaines said. The vehicles that burned appeared to be abandoned, and the nearest residence appeared to be further west near the south end of Highland Springs, Gaines said.

One firefighter suffered an ankle injury before 9 a.m. Sunday and he was being attended to. Another firefighter suffered a knee injury overnight and required helicopter rescue because he was on a steep ridge and could not walk out, Gaines said.

The fire was about four miles northwest of the mountain town of Poppet Flats, and it was burning in a westerly direction away from Poppet Flats, Gaines said.

Update 8 a.m. As of 7:30 a.m. Sunday there were helicopter crews assisting 240 firefighters on a fire in the San Jacinto Mountains south of Banning, according to Cal Fire.

Multiple vehicles and one shed were destroyed on the east end of the fire, which was estimated at 300 acres burned, according to the incident commander.

Four tanker planes, three helicopters and one spotter plane were assigned for the day, Melody Hendrickson of Cal Fire-Riverside County said in a statement.

Several Cal Fire crew trucks were headed south on Sunset in Banning at 8 a.m.

Posted 6:50 a.m. A firefighter with injuries was airlifted from a fire south of Banning and Beaumont in the San Jacinto Mountains, a Cal Fire spokeswoman said early Sunday.

The fire was reported at 6:10 p.m. Saturday near Old Banning Idyllwild Road and Shirleon Drive with no structures threatened, according to Cal Fire. The last Cal Fire estimate on acreage burned early Sunday was 50 acres with zero containment.

Smoke and flames were visible overnight from San Gorgonio Pass communities and points further west. There was at least one spot fire burning further east on the mountainside from the main fire before 7 a.m. Sunday.

In an update at 12:19 a.m. Sept. 30, the incident commander reported a firefighter sustained injuries to a lower extremity and was hoist rescued by a Los Angeles County Fire Department helicopter to an area hospital.

As of early Sunday, there were more than 190 personnel assigned, from agencies including Cal Fire-San Bernardino, the Bureau of Land Mangement, Morongo Fire, Murrieta Fire Protection District, Pechanga Fire, Riverside City Fire, and the Forest Service, Hendrickson said.

The cause of the fires was said to be under investigation.

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