LAKE ELSINORE -- A wildfire broke out Wednesday in a rural area in Southern California and grew with extreme speed, threatening three communities where people were evacuated and apparently burning at least two homes.
The fire started around 2 p.m. and about four hours later, it had surged to 5,000 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
TV news cameras have shown at least five structures burning in isolated areas, and at least two appeared to be homes, but fire officials would not confirm that.
More than 400 firefighters, five helicopters and five air tanker planes were working to get ahead of the flames in Riverside County near Banning. One firefighter has been injured, but details are unknown.
Mandatory evacuations have been called for the rural communities of Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley, and evacuation centers were set up at high schools in Hemet and Banning.
It wasn't immediately clear how many homes or people were affected by the evacuations.
About 30 miles to the southwest, firefighters were working on a 1,100-acre wildfire that has been burning since Monday southwest of Lake Elsinore.