The second City of Temecula evacuation center closed today as Fairview Fire evacuation orders were lifted. The Fairview Fire began on Monday, September 5th in Hemet and spread quickly through dry, rural terrain towards Temecula Wine Country, burning 28,307 acres including 35 structures and damaging 7 more. Although the Fairview Fire was stopped before reaching Temecula, the City became home to two of three evacuation centers providing shelter and comfort to a total of 173 evacuees and 25 pets at the Temecula Community Recreation Center and the gymnasium at Temecula Valley High School. The original evacuation center in Hemet at Tahquitz High School also closed today.
Temecula Mayor Matt Rahn shared his gratitude to CAL FIRE / Riverside County Fire and Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, both contracted by the City of Temecula, "With erratic winds from Tropical Storm Kay off the coast pushing the fire towards Temecula, the Fairview Fire rose to a Level 1 Incident Management Team at which time close to 3,000 fire and law enforcement personnel were deployed locally and from across the State and Country --and we thank them all.” Mayor Rahn adds, “The rain on day four could not come soon enough as these heroes took turns working 24-hour shifts to slow the fire down in hot weather up to 106 degrees -- they protected over 13,000 houses in the fire’s path and kept Temecula Safe.” In addition to a few injuries sustained during the Fairview Fire, including a helicopter accident, Mayor Rahn extends heartfelt condolences on behalf of the City of Temecula to a family whose car was caught by the fire, “The tragic loss of a father and daughter on the first day of the fast-moving fire is heartbreaking, and the City’s deepest sympathies are with their loved ones.”
Temecula City Manager Aaron Adams states, “Amid growing concerns, and a full-scale evacuation of Temecula Wine Country, the Fairview Fire inspired a movement of community-wide kindness with numerous stories of citizens helping each other; many offering to open their homes to evacuees. Kindness and an others-centered attitude during this difficult time was also evident by members of the community taking in evacuated animals at their homes.” Local businesses such as Temecula’s Home Depot also stepped up donating needed supplies. Adams said, “Most notably, the City would like to recognize the California Ranch Company who accepted more than 800 evacuated animals and horses at their private ranch which was a huge undertaking and so very appreciated by families in need.”
Temecula Fire Chief John Crater states, “We are grateful for the community’s outpouring of support to each other and to the men and women assigned to this fire. The rain was a blessing on Friday as we were dealing with wind gusts from 25 to 65 mph at times. Ample moisture and humidity with a rain shower on Sunday helped us roll back more evacuation areas to get families into their homes again.” Chief Crater adds, “Crews will continue work to extinguish hot and smoldering dense brush, tree stumps, and roots in the burn area over the next few days.”
The City of Temecula’s next regularly scheduled Coffee with the Mayor will share information on how best to protect your home and family from a wildfire. Join us this Saturday, September 17, 2022, 8‑9:30am, at Bean Coffee Roasters / Batter Up Bakery located at 26490 Ynez Road, Suite K, Temecula.