All evacuation warnings were lifted Tuesday that stemmed from a 105-acre brush fire that erupted in the Santa Ana River bottom between Jurupa Valley and Riverside, though some road closures remained in effect.
Clay Street, between Van Buren Boulevard and Limonite Avenue, was closed, along with Van Buren Boulevard, between Jurupa Avenue and Limonite Avenue. There was no immediate word on when the roadways would reopen.
Fire officials said firefighters would remain in the area for several days for clean-up efforts.
The non-injury blaze, which was 10% contained as of Tuesday morning, sparked about 11:10 a.m. Monday 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.
Crews had been making steady progress encircling the fire when a separate fire sprang up about 3:30 p.m. ahead of the larger one, near the Western Riverside County Animal Shelter.
The fires blended into one under increasing southwesterly winds, shifting directions throughout the day and threatening hundreds of homes in Jurupa Valley and Riverside, where mandatory evacuation orders were in place for several hours.
A battalion chief at the scene Monday afternoon described the winds as “erratic,” hampering containment efforts, and said the fire had the potential to grow to 500 acres. The flames were concentrated in Jurupa Valley, with the back end of the fire in Riverside.
As of 5:30 p.m., the winds were beginning to let up, according to reports from the scene.
At 9 p.m., the department announced progress of the fire was stopped and evacuations orders for residents were downgraded to evacuation warnings, which were lifted Tuesday morning.
Riverside Municipal Airport and Flabob Airport, three miles to the northeast, were shut down Monday evening, and temporary flight restrictions were imposed, permitting only Cal Fire aircraft to come and go in the airspace.
Four Cal Fire water-dropping helicopters and two air tankers were called in to make runs on the fire.
Sheriff’s deputies closed all access points to the river bottom, except for emergency personnel.
Multiple engine, truck and hand crews from Riverside, Corona, Murrieta and Ontario joined Riverside County firefighters in working to get lines around the blaze.
No structure damage was reported, and neither were any injuries.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
The river bottom is dotted with homeless encampments, and during dry periods fires from camping and cooking are a regular occurrence.
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