A wind-fanned fire that broke out Tuesday at a Jurupa Valley lumber yard left three firefighters injured and blackened about four acres before crews got it partially contained.
The “Clay Fire” northwest of the city of Riverside broke out for unknown reasons about 7:10 a.m. at the intersection of Clay Street and Van Buren Boulevard, near the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter, according to the county fire department.
An agency spokeswoman said three firefighters suffered minor injuries while working to encircle the blaze, which by 1 p.m. was 25 percent contained. No specific details were released regarding how the crew members were hurt.
Two dozen engine crews, two truck companies and four hand crews, numbering 165 personnel, were assigned to the blaze, with multiple agencies lending a hand, including the Riverside and Corona fire departments and the U.S. Forest Service.
Two water-dropping helicopters made runs on the blaze as Santa Ana winds whipped the flames through the composting facility.
The animal shelter was closed to the public, and animals in outdoor pens were evacuated to another location as a safety precaution.
Department of Animal Services spokesman John Welsh said downed power lines knocked out electricity to the facility shortly before 8 a.m. The shelter is expected to remain closed until Thursday, he said.
Road closures included Van Buren Boulevard, south of Clay Street, and Van Buren between Jurupa Avenue and Clay Street.
According to Southern California Edison, roughly 70 customers were without power due to the fire.
Residents in the area were advised to stay indoors, with drift smoke expected near the scene.
–City News Service
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