Mountain fire grows more slowly in So. California

July 19, 2013 at 1:40 PM

IDYLLWILD, Calif., July 19 (UPI) -- The Mountain fire in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California remained mostly uncontained Friday and was still spreading, firefighters said.

The fire appeared to be growing more slowly, however, The (Palm Springs) Desert Sun reported. It added only 2,000 acres from Thursday morning to Friday morning -- after having grown by 8,600 acres in the previous 24 hours.

High temperatures and gusty winds have fueled the flames, which have charred almost 25,000 acres, or 39 square miles. The fire was first reported Monday.

Containment remained at 15 percent Friday as more than 3,300 firefighters battled the flames, along with 19 helicopters and 10 aerial tankers, the Times reported. Three firefighters have been treated for minor injuries.

Evacuation orders have been issued for the mountain resorts of Idyllwild and Fern Valley, officials said. People living in Apple Canyon and Bonita Vista were permitted to return to their homes Thursday night, the Los Angeles Times said.

Riverside County officials have asked Gov. Jerry Brown to declare an emergency.

Idyllwild was almost empty Thursday, but the Red Kettle Restaurant remained open -- and even extended its hours until 8 p.m. to feed fire crews.

"They're just happy to have a hot meal," said Ashley Stewart, who works at the restaurant. "That's the biggest thing."

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