A wind-whipped wildfire started by an arsonist engulfed a fire engine Thursday, killing four firefighters, and stranded up to 400 people in an RV park when flames burned to the edge of the only road out, officials said.
“Everybody is hunkered down here. They’re fighting the fire around us. It’s across the street from us,” said Charles Van Brunt, a ranger at the station at the entrance to Silent Valley Club, the recreational vehicle park near Palm (nasdaq: PALM – news – people ) Springs. The residents were in no immediate danger, he said.
Authorities asked people in the RV park to stay put to leave the roads clear for firefighters. Hundreds of others in the area were forced from their homes.
A Riverside County Fire Department spokesman said the fire was deliberately set around 1 a.m.