A rapidly expanding fire in the inland area of Banning, Calif., has burned 6,000 acres, forcing 1,500 people to evacuate. Two firefighters and one civilian have been injured by the blaze.
The wind-whipped wildfire is raging out of control in the San Jacinto Mountains near Banning. Evacuations have been ordered for the communities of Vista Grande, Mt. Edna, Poppet Flats, Twin Pines, and Silent Valley as well as portions of Cabazon, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CDFFP).
"This fire has been moving very quickly and we discovered that first hand because as we were going on the [Highway] 243 trying to get to Twin Pines, suddenly the flames just jumped up in front of us as we were trying to make a corner we could see the orange glow all around us," Carlos Grande, who is near the fire line near Banning, told ABC News.
Two firefighters were taken to hospitals by ambulance, and a burned civilian was airlifted out, state fire officials said. No further details on the injuries were given.
Much of Highway 243 lit up with flames, and the fear is that flames will jump over the road and continue to burn. As the fire skips some houses, it devoured others in its path.
Andy Schrader, who lives in Twin Pines, said that his home was spared, but his motor home is completely charred and a neighbor's home burned.
"No firemen came whatsoever," he said. "We did everything ourselves. It was so bad I thought I better kiss my a** goodbye. I thought I was going to die."
A total of 1,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, utilizing 84 fire engines and six air tankers, according to the CDFFP. Evacuation centers have been set up in Beaumont, Calif. and Hemet, Calif.
Lisa Redwine grabbed a few personal possessions and threw them in her truck just as the fire was getting close.
"We couldn't go the 243. The fire had already crossed over," she said. "So there were like four or five of us that had to go down the dirt roads down to the casino near Hemet."
Battalion Chief Julie Hutchinson with the CDFFP said that firefighters are working tirelessly.
"It's going to be a long night out here," he said. "We've got to get those hand crews, got to keep pushing through cutting that hand line. We are going to have some night flying aircraft that are going to be assisting us."
ABC News Radio contributed to this report.