Crews in fire gear stand in smoke-filled road fighting the Navajo Fire.
Crews fight the Navajo Fire. Photo from the Riverside County fire Department.

A wind-driven wildfire that broke out Monday just west of Perris left two people injured, burned down a home and destroyed multiple vehicles before crews got it largely under control.

The “Navajo Fire” was reported about 11:50 a.m. near the intersection of Navajo Road and Fourth Street, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The fire had blackened 22 acres and was 85 percent contained as of 5:30 p.m., an agency official said.

One person suffered moderate injuries and another received minor injuries, either while trying to knock down the flames or trying to escape them, according to the fire department.

A home was destroyed by the fire, as well as nine vehicles, including a tractor, officials said. Several properties were evacuated, but the residents were permitted to return within a couple of hours.

Fifteen engine crews, numbering about 50 personnel, were sent to the location, initially encountering a fire less than an acre wide. However, strong Santa Ana winds fanned the flames, causing the blaze to rapidly expand.

Sheriff’s officials partially closed state Route 74 through the area to accommodate emergency vehicles, but the highway was completely re-opened by 5 p.m.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.


–City News Service

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