The non-injury “Opera Fire” may be fully contained by Monday evening.
Dark smoke plumes covered Moreno Valley in less than an hour. Water- dropping helicopters and air tankers were initially hampered by people flying remote-controlled drones in the vicinity of the flames, preventing pilots from making runs on the fire. Public safety officials issued pleas for spectators to ground their equipment.
As of 11 a.m., more than 200 firefighters were working to encircle the blaze, which was continuing to chew through vegetation on the north end of Box Springs Canyon, according to a Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman.
Personnel from Riverside County, the city of Riverside, Corona, Ontario, San Bernardino County, Murrieta and Palm Springs were on the fire lines.
The wind-whipped brusher erupted about 3:40 p.m. Sunday in a field near Opera Loop and Palmyrita Avenue, just east of the 60/91/215 interchange.
Flames approached about 40 homes in the area overnight, but crews managed to keep the structures safe. No evacuation orders have been put into effect.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
— City News Service
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