Winds picked up and sent flames from a massive Southern California wildfire rushing downhill on the flanks of Mount San Jacinto.
Helicopters making water drops and air tankers pouring red flame retardant circled overhead as flames burned both sides of the main road leading to the scenic town of Idyllwild.
The blaze erupted on Wednesday and quickly turned into a wall of flame that torched timber and dry brush. In a matter of hours, the so-called Cranston Fire grew to 7.5 square miles (19 square kilometers).
About 3,000 residents were under evacuation orders Thursday in Idyllwild and several neighboring communities.
California Governor Jerry Brown declared states of emergency for this fire and two others.