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Wildfire burns 300 acres in remote Riverside County, injures firefighters

A wildfire that has charred 300 acres of dry brush in a remote area of Riverside County has injured a regular firefighter and an inmate firefighter.

The fire was reported Saturday in rugged, steep terrain about five miles south of Banning, the Desert Sun newspaper reports. It was burning out of control early Sunday, but as of Sunday afternoon, the fire was 20 percent contained.

The firefighter suffered minor injuries to his lower extremities just after midnight and was taken to a hospital by helicopter, according to the newspaper. An inmate firefighter also suffered minor injuries.

Cal Fire spokeswoman Jody Hagerman said, even though fire crews have made some progress, they still have a lot of work ahead of them this afternoon.

"The fire is burning in very inaccessible steep and rugged terrain," Hagerman said. "They do have some homes northwest of where the fire is burning that have a potential threat, but there are no evacuations right now. There are some afternoon winds that they're really keeping a close eye on."

Hagerman said those winds have been gusting up to 20 mph.

One small shed and several vehicles, thought to be abandoned, were scorched.

A total of 240 firefighters were assigned to the blaze, including 25 engines, three helicopters, four air tankers and 10 hand crews, according to the newspaper.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

This story has been updated.

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