A fire that broke out Monday in the Santa Ana River bottom between Jurupa Valley and Riverside charred 10 acres and threatened homes, prompting evacuations.
The non-injury blaze was reported at 11:10 a.m. in the area of Jurupa Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard, less than a mile north of Riverside Municipal Airport, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Multiple engine, truck and hand crews from the county, city of Riverside, Corona and other agencies converged on the location and encountered flames moving at a moderate rate eastward through thick vegetation.
At 12:40 p.m., the blaze turned north, immediately threatening properties near Kennedy Street and Riverdale Place in Jurupa Valley. Sheriff’s deputies were summoned to initiate mandatory evacuations in the neighborhood. The exact number of properties impacted was unclear.
Two Cal Fire water-dropping helicopters made a series of runs that slowed the fire’s progress, aiding crews in establishing protective lines around the homes.
A battalion chief at the scene described the winds as “erratic” and said the fire could continue to expand.
There was no word on what might have triggered the blaze. The river bottom is dotted with homeless encampments, and during dry periods, fires from camping and cooking are a regular occurrence.