20,000-acre Apple wildfire in Southern California remains zero percent contained

Firefighters were unable to contain any of the more than 20,000-acre wildfire burning in Southern California on Sunday morning.

The Apple fire in Riverside County, about 75 miles east of Los Angeles, began Friday and has forced around 8,000 people to evacuate, with more orders expected. On Saturday, one single-family home was destroyed.

Officials set up an evacuation center in Beaumont, California. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

Earlier on Sunday, fire officials in Riverside County had said the fire was 12 percent contained. But in their morning announcement, the San Bernardino National Forest Service, which took over unified command of the blaze, said containment levels were back to zero and the fire had grown to 20,516 acres.

CalFire division Chief Ty Davis had said Saturday that he was “expecting some containment” by Sunday morning.

The wildfire was first reported as two small fires Friday night near Cherry Valley. But the two outbreaks grew exponentially within hours, leading authorities to issue the first evacuation orders by 7:30 p.m. Saturday for areas around the neighboring cities of Banning and Beaumont.

The National Weather Service warned that the area would face hot and dry conditions with low humidity levels and gusty winds until late Sunday. All these components added up for the strong potential of fire weather

Dennis Romero and Phil McCausland contributed.

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