Fireworks spark 3,200-acre Palmer Fire near Redlands

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Hundreds of firefighters battled a fast-moving wildfire near Beaumont Saturday, as flames spread across 3,200 acres. The blaze remained 10 percent contained, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Fire officials revealed Palmer Fire was caused by fireworks.

The Palmer Fire started near Fisherman’s Retreat in San Timoteo Canyon around 1:30 p.m. and spread into Live Oak Canyon in the northern part of the county.

About 475 firefighters from several agencies, including Cal Fire and Riverside County Fire Department were working to put out the blaze.

Fire officials ordered mandatory evacuations for residents in San Timoteo and Live Oak canyons south of the 10 Freeway, affecting parts of Redlands as well. Voluntary evacuations were in place for Outer Highway 10 from Live Oak Canyon Road to Alta Vista and on Alta Vista to Sunset Drive and Sunset Drive to Helen Court.

More than a hundred homes in Riverside County and the city of Redlands were evacuated. Officials estimate 450 people were displaced.

The following roads were closed: Alessandro and San Timoteo Canyon Road, Live Oak Canyon Road from I-10 to San Timoteo Canyon Road, according to the Redlands Fire Department.

Riverside firefighters responded to a fast-moving wildfire that broke out near Beaumont Saturday afternoon.
Riverside firefighters responded to a fast-moving wildfire that broke out near Beaumont Saturday afternoon. Courtesy Gerard Sabaté

Live Oak Canyon resident Gerard Sabaté was heading home with his wife after visiting his great grandparents, when he saw a plume of smoke and asphalt in the air. As he drove closer, he realized the flames were headed straight for his home.

"By the time I was leaving, one of the sheds or horse barns had already caught fire," said Sabaté of his neighbor's property.

Sabaté, who is the brother of KPCC digital producer Albert Sabaté, described the area as "out in the country" and noted that several homeowners in the area own horses.

An evacuation center was set up at Redlands Community Center at 111 W. Lugonia Ave. in Redlands. A large animal evacuation center was also open at Yucaipa Equestrian Center at 13273 California St. in Yucaipa. Small animals can be placed temporarily at Redlands Animal Shelter at 504 N. Kansas St.

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