Update@ 3:18 p.m.: Despite 25-mile-per-hour winds, crews today expanded their containment lines around a brush fire that started on the Jurupa Valley side of the Santa Ana River bottom, scorching 311 acres and damaging two structures.
The non-injury fire, which broke out about 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Rio Road and Calle Hermosa, on the edge of Rancho Jurupa Park, was 40 percent contained by 1 p.m. today., according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory until 10 a.m. Saturday, forecasting an offshore breeze of 15 to 25 mph, with gusts up to 45 mph below canyons and passes. Humidity was below 15 percent in the Riverside area this afternoon.
Nearly 200 firefighters from Riverside and Orange counties, the Pechanga and Morongo Indian Reservations, and the cities of Riverside, Murrieta and Corona, as well as inmate hand crews, worked to surround the fire.
There was no word on when it might be fully contained.
A water-dropping helicopter was making periodic runs on the fire today.
Flare-ups were reported in multiple locations as brush continued to smolder.
Update@ 11:51 a.m.: The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory, warning that people in vulnerable health and children in Riverside, Jurupa Valley and other communities that may be impacted by the smoke should stay indoors as much as possible.
A brush fire that started in the Santa Ana River bottom was 30 percent contained this morning after scorching around 200 acres and damaging one home and an outbuilding in Jurupa Valley, authorities said.
No injuries were reported as a result of the fire, which broke out around 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Rio Road and Calle Hermosa on the edge of Rancho Jurupa Park, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
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As crews cut containment lines around the blaze, authorities called for voluntary evacuations, but the call was lifted late Thursday, officials said.
Firefighters were taking advantage of calm conditions this morning in advance of gusts that were forecast for later today. The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory for the area, in effect until 4 p.m., forecasting winds out of the east of 15 to 25 mph with gusts up to 35 mph below canyons and passes.
Some 200 firefighters from Riverside and Orange counties, the Pechanga Indian Reservation, and the cities of Riverside, Murrieta, and Corona, as well as jail inmate hand crews were working to surround the fire, which was 30 percent contained by 4:10 a.m. today, according to county fire officials.
Three water-dropping helicopters made runs on the blaze until nightfall and at least one continued to make drops late Thursday night, according to broadcast reports.
Television news images showed flames burning what appeared to be a home shortly after 7 p.m.
Photo gallery courtesy of Joe Fanaselle:
“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.”
As firefighters appeared to have quelled a couple of the bigger hot spots, a mobile home about a quarter-mile downwind from the main fire burst into intense flames.
Two nearby homes were also threatened, but it appeared that quick action by firefighters saved them.
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.
Approximately 1,846 Riverside residents lost power during the blaze, said county fire spokeswoman Jody Hagemann. Service was restored late Thursday, according to broadcast reports.
There was no word on when the fire might be fully contained.
It was the second fire in the area Thursday.
An earlier one blackened less than an acre before crews got it under control.