IDYLLWILD - The Mountain Fire in Idyllwild grew more than 2,000 acres overnight Thursday, gaining a foothold in the San Jacinto State Wilderness and the Tahquitz Meadow area, fire officials said Friday.

The fire is 24,818 acres and remains 15 percent contained, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Kate Kramer.

More than 3,300 firefighters on the ground and in aircraft worked through the night to surround the blaze, which was moving toward the Agua Caliente Indian Reservation to the east. The battle continues today when temperatures are expected to reach 91 degrees in Idyllwild, and there is also a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms.

"They're continuing to build line around the fire and get that sewed up as much as we can," Kramer said. "We also plan to work on the active areas with aircraft, she said.

Authorities reopened Highway 74 and a portion of Highway 243 outside of Idyllwild on Thursday night. They also lifted evacuations for Apple Canyon, including Bonita Vista, Pine Springs Ranch, the Zen Mountain Center and Camp Ronald McDonald, but those areas are open to residents only. Evacuations remain in effect for Idyllwild, Fern Valley and Trails End at the north end of Morris Ranch Road.

The fire ignited Monday near the intersection of Highways 243 and 74, rushing east of the Mountain Center and Apple Canyon areas in steep and rugged terrain. Thousands of residents have evacuated.


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Flames have destroyed three mobile homes and residences in Bonita Vista and a commercial building in Pine Springs. Eleven outbuildings were also destroyed, along with four to six vehicles. No new structures were damaged overnight, and no firefighters were injured.

"The main issue is firefighter safety and getting this fire under control," Kramer said.

Reach Melissa via email or call her at 909-386-3878.

Read more: http://www.sbsun.com/ci_23692061/mountain-fire-idyllwild-blaze-grows-24-818-acres#ixzz2ZVX7C49h