Aug 8 (Reuters) - A fast-growing California wildfire doubled in size overnight, torching 15 buildings east of Los Angeles, injuring at least three people and forcing the evacuation of hundreds of residents of about half a dozen small communities, authorities said on Thursday.
The fire broke out on Wednesday near a back-country road in Riverside County, and by early Thursday had blackened more than 10,000 acres (4,050 hectares) as it continued to rage out of control, the Riverside County Fire Department said on its website.
The communities of Vista Grande, Mount Edna, Poppet Flats, Twin Pines and Silent Valley were under mandatory evacuation orders. Shelters had been set up at high schools in nearby Hemet and Beaumont, the website said.
At least 15 structures had been destroyed by the fire, although it was not immediately clear whether any of them were homes. Images from local TV showed what appeared to be the smoldering shell of a farmhouse in wooded ranch land.
Authorities have not yet determined how the fire started.
The blaze is the latest to break out during what experts say could become one of the worst U.S. fire seasons.
A Colorado wildfire in June, ranked as that state's most destructive on record, ravaged more than 500 homes and killed two people. In Arizona, 19 members of an elite firefighting crew died on June 30 while battling a wildfire. (Reporting by Tim Gaynor; editing by Cynthia Johnston, G Crosse)