BEAUMONT, Calif. — A wildfire northwest of Palm Springs grew to nearly 3 square miles overnight and has prompted the evacuation of at least 200 homes.
The blaze began as two separate fires reported Friday evening in Cherry Valley, an unincorporated area near the city of Beaumont in Riverside County. Flames leapt along brushy ridge tops and came close to homes while more than 300 firefighters fought the blaze from the ground and air.
The blaze is one of several that firefighters are battling as Southern California is gripped by a heat wave. Some areas topped 100 degrees and forecasters say the heat will continue into Saturday.
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California’s wildfires are growing more powerful, more unpredictable, and more deadly. They’re also growing more demanding, both to those trying to find out the reasons behind their intensifying nature, and those who are tasked with stopping them.