A wind-whipped brush fire that started Wednesday in the Santa Ana River bottom near downtown Riverside scorched 30 acres and burned toward numerous homes but was prevented from damaging any structures.

The non-injury blaze was reported at 11:40 a.m. in the area of Indian Hill and Ladera Lane, along the dry banks of the Santa Ana River bottom, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

Capt. Brian Guzzetta told City News Service that the fire raced upslope and threatened an unspecified number of properties adjacent to Loring Park. He said that as of 5:30 p.m., it was almost 50% contained.

“The fire remains in heavy fuels but has slowed down,” Guzzetta said. “We will be working toward full containment this evening.”

No homes were damaged, and Guzetta said that all evacuation orders for residences on Ladera, Indian Hill, Beacon Way and Mt. Rubidoux Drive were lifted before 5 p.m.

He said the fire appears suspicious, and arson investigators were combing the ignition point to determine exactly how it began.

A temporary evacuation site established at Dales Senior Center in White Park was closed before nightfall.

Along with Riverside Fire Department personnel, Corona and Rancho Cucamonga firefighters were working to encircle the brusher, according to the fire captain.

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