Cranston Fire near Mountain Center closes Highways 74 and 371

(Twitter / Caltrans)

A wildfire that broke out Wednesday in Mountain Center has spread rapidly prompting evacuations and the closure of both Highway 74 and 371 in the area.

The blaze was reported a little after 12 pm. It had consumed 3,500 acres as of 8 pm, according to officials from the San Bernardino National Forest.

Evacuations have been ordered for southwest Idyllwild. In addition, the following roads have been closed:

  • Highway 74 between Cranston Fire Station and Lake Hemet
  • Highway 243 between Pine Cover and Mountain Center
  • Highway 74 and Highway 243 are open for those leaving the area, but closed for those attempting to come up the hill.

Update: ABC 7 is reporting that a person has been detained for questioning as officials believe the fire may be the result of arson:

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.