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Residents of more than 900 homes in the San Bernardino County community of Yucaipa were under mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday because of a growing wildfire burning south of the Oak Glen Fire and north of Beaumont.
The Pendleton Fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. Monday about three miles southwest of the Oak Glen Fire, and by 6 p.m. winds were pushing waves of dense smoke from the active, new blaze over rush-hour commuters on Interstate 10 in Calimesa in Riverside County.
Both fires are burning in San Bernardino County, a few miles from the Riverside County line.
The Pendleton Fire had scorched about 500 acres by 2:30 a.m. today and was considered 5 percent contained, Cal Fire Capt. Debbie Chapman told City News Service. Three hours earlier, it had been estimated at 300 acres.
Evacuation orders resulting from the Pendleton Fire applied to homes in Wildwood Canyon in Yucaipa, east of Fremont Street to Oak Glen Road and "everything north of Wildwood Canyon Road," according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
An evacuation center that can house about 200 people was set up at Yucaipa Community Center at 34900 Oak Glen Road.
The Oak Glen Fire was considered 30 percent contained Tuesday, and mandatory evacuations remained in effect for south and southeast portions of the apple orchard mountain town, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department.
The Oak Glen Fire was first reported at 1:45 p.m. Sunday near Potato Canyon Road and Oak Glen Road north of Pisgah Peak, said Jason Meyer, a Cal Fire spokesman.
Riverside County firefighters aided other fire crews again Monday as they worked in heat-wave conditions to halt both fires. Before the Pendleton Fire broke out, the Oak Glen Fire nearly tripled in size because of steep terrain, low humidity and high temperatures, Meyer said.