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2 dead in Southern California wildfire

The Fairview Fire broke out Monday afternoon in Riverside County and grew to 2,000 acres by around 10:30 p.m. At least seven structures had been destroyed.
A firefighter battling the Fairview Fire on Sept. 5, 2022, near Hemet, Calif.Ethan Swope / AP

Two people have died after a wildfire broke out Monday in Southern California southeast of Los Angeles, a blaze that grew to 2,000 acres and prompted the evacuation of hundreds of homes, officials said.

The deaths, civilian fatalities, were announced Monday evening by fire officials in Riverside County, where the Fairview Fire was burning. No further details were available.

The fire was burning south of Hemet, a city of around 89,000 people.

It was at 2,000 acres and was 5% contained by around 10:30 p.m., the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/Riverside County Fire Department said.

The fire started shortly after 2 p.m. and quickly grew, fire Capt. Richard Cordova said in a video briefing earlier Monday.

There were 3,254 homes under evacuation orders Monday night, said the department of forestry and fire protection, known as Cal Fire.

Fire officials reported one other civilian injury. Seven structures were destroyed, and several more were damaged, the fire department said.

The fire broke out as most of California was under excessive heat warnings. The state has been affected by a dayslong heat wave that has strained the electric grid, with calls for conservation.

In Northern California, the Mill Fire, which began Friday, also killed two people, officials there said.

Firefighters found the two women, ages 66 and 73, in separate locations in the town of Weed on Friday, the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office has said.

The Mill Fire had burned 4,263 acres by Monday night, according to Cal Fire. It was 55% contained. At least 89 structures were destroyed.