The potential for thunderstorms and flooding near the Cranston Fire burn area led authorities to order evacuations Wednesday for several communities in southern Riverside County.
The National Weather Service issued flash flood and severe thunderstorm warnings for portions of southern Riverside County, including Idyllwild, Anza and Aguanga, as well as roadways that include state Route 79 between Oak Grove and Aguanga, state Route 243 between Banning and Idyllwild, state Route 74 between Anza and Palm Desert, and state Route 74 between Mountain Center and Anza.
The flood warning will be in effect until 5:45 p.m.
Evacuation orders were issued for the communities of Hurkey Creek, Apple Canyon, Fleming Ranch and Strawberry Creek, according to the Riverside County Emergency Management Department.
Residents were advised to use northbound state Route 243 to exit the area.
Forecasters said “excessive rainfall over the Cranston Fire burn scar will likely result in debris flow,” consisting of “rock, mud, vegetation and other loose materials.”
In addition to rain, 60 mph wind gusts and “nickel size hail” were forecast for the area, according to the NWS.
The evacuation orders come just a week after the 13,139-acre, arson-caused Cranston Fire reached full containment. A Temecula man, 32-year-old Brandon McGlover, is facing 15 felony arson counts for allegedly setting the blaze that sparked around noon July 25.
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