Saturday, October 3, 2009
The Banning Fire was reported about 12:15 today. It is on the west side of the San Jacinto Range just a mile or two south of Interstate 10.
Cal Fire is managing the fire defense and has already called for Riverside County Fire Department and Forest Service engines to help. Air tankers are actively involved. As of 1:30 the fire was being held to 15 to 20 acres.
Several hikers in the area said they heard numerous gun shots coming from the vicinity of the fire before they first saw smoke. Perhaps target shooting was the culprit.
The top photo was taken about 12:25 p.m. from Hwy 243 as it passes Banning High School.
The middle photo is several miles south, up the mountain about 10 minutes later.
From the same position, an airtanker (bottom photo) is dropping retardant on the fire.
Posted by JP Crumrine at 1:45 PM