A wildfire that broke out Wednesday in Jurupa Valley threatened a mobile home park, school and other facilities, scorching 200 acres in three hours amid intense Santa Ana winds.
The blaze was reported about 10 a.m. in the area of Granite Hill Drive and Pyrite Street, on the north side of the Pomona (60) Freeway, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The agency said 30 engine crews and six hand crews, numbering nearly 200 personnel, were sent to the location and encountered flames burning along a hillside.
With winds blowing 25-30 mph, firefighters were struggling to encircle the brusher and called in Cal Fire water-dropping helicopters to make runs on it. Air tankers were temporarily grounded because of the winds. However, when gusts let up about 12:30 p.m., the tankers were able to return and drop retardant on the fire, forming initial containment lines.
Flames jumped the 60 Freeway, and firefighters and California Highway Patrol officers shut it down in both directions at Pyrite. Lanes were tentatively re-opened at noon, with officers running periodic traffic breaks to ease the miles-long congestion.
A home on Fleming Street sustained external damage because of the fire, according to reports from the scene. No injuries were reported.
The Santiago Estates Mobile Home Park in the 3700 block of Quartz Canyon Road was placed under a mandatory evacuation order, and the Miller Progressive Care Home at 8951 was also evacuated, with some of the 75 patients immobile and requiring assistance from sheriff’s deputies to exit the facility, according to reports from the scene.
The Jurupa Unified School District evacuated students and staff from Granite Hill Elementary School, all of whom were taken to Jurupa Middle School at Agate Street for the rest of the day, according to the district.
Residences between Quartz Canyon Road to the east and Lindsay Street to the west, north of the 60 freeway, were included in the evacuation order.
A care and reception center was established at Patriot High School, 4355 Camino Real.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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