UPDATE @ 9:45 p.m.: According to Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Hagemann, acreage consumed remains at 150 and is 20 percent contained.
“Firefighters will remain at the scene throughout the night with a day assignment planned for tomorrow. Approximately 1,846 Riverside City residents are without power. Riverside City Public Utilities are aware of the outage and working to correct the problem,” Hagemann said.
UPDATE @ 9:14 p.m.: A brush fire that started in the Santa Ana River bottom scorched more than 150 acres and damaged at least one home and a mobile home, according to a Riverside County Fire Department report.
UPDATE @ 8:50 p.m.: A mobile home in the mandatory evacuation zone of the fire in Riverside has gone up in flames. The home is close to two homes that may be threatened, according to KCAL9.
UPDATE @ 7:58 p.m.: A brush fire that started in the Santa Ana River bottom scorched more than 60 acres and damaged at least one home ringing a Riverside park today, prompting authorities to call for voluntary evacuations as crews made progress getting a line around the brusher.
The blaze was reported about 4:45 p.m. at Rio Road and Calle Hermosa, on the edge of Rancho Jurupa Park, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
County engine crews, city of Riverside firefighters, Murrieta firefighters, Corona firefighters and crews from the Pechanga Indian Reservation, as well as a half-dozen inmate hand crews — numbering around 200 personnel — were working to surround the fire, which was 20 percent contained by 7:30 p.m.
Three water-dropping helicopters made runs on the blaze until nightfall.
Television news images showed flames burning what appeared to be a home shortly after 7 p.m., but neither county fire officials nor city officials could immediately confirm the location of that residence or whether there were any injuries.
“We’ve had a lot of minor spots as embers have landed in yards,” Riverside Fire Department Capt. Dave Bakas told City News Service, adding that he was not aware of where the burning structure was.
“I know of some minor damage to a garage, but nothing major.”
At 6:35 p.m., the Riverside Fire Department called for voluntary evacuations of homes in the area of Grassy Trail Drive, Greenbrier Drive and Old Mill Road, all of which abut Anza Narrows Park. Riverside police and sheriff’s units were blocking access to some streets in the vicinity of the park.
Embers from the fire were blowing over homes and igniting surrounding trees, according to reports from the scene.
Residents who chose to evacuate were advised to go to a temporary shelter at Nichols Park, 5505 Dewey Ave.
There were initial reports that downed power lines may have triggered the fire, but officials could not confirm a cause.
The blowing embers were touching off spot fires across a wide area, keeping crews busy, official said.
It was the second fire in the area today. An earlier one blackened less than an acre before crews got it under control.
There was no word on when the fire might be fully contained.
ORIGINAL: A wind-driven brush fire scorched about 20 acres this afternoon along the Santa Ana River bottom in Jurupa Valley, where crews were trying to get around thick vegetation to cut off the flames.
No structures were immediately threatened by the blaze, which was reported about 4:45 p.m. at Rio Road and Calle Hermosa, on the edge of Rancho Jurupa Park, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
County engine crews, city of Riverside firefighters and inmate hand crews — numbering close to 100 personnel — were trying to get a line around the brusher, Riverside Battalion Chief Mitch Wesche told KCBS2.
He said at least three water-dropping helicopters were at the scene.
There were initial reports that downed power lines may have triggered the fire, but Wesche could not confirm a cause.
He noted that the fire was “spotting,” or spreading in patches because of burning embers being cast to the wind and igniting vegetation over a wide area.
It was the second fire in the area this afternoon. An earlier one blackened less than an acre before crews got it under control.
There was no word on when the fire might be contained.