A brush fire that scorched 23 acres southeast of Lake Mathews was 85% contained Tuesday morning after threatening residences and prompting evacuations.
The blaze was reported at 1:35 p.m. Monday in the area of Gavilan Road and Bonita Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. The fire’s forward rate of spread was stopped at about 4 p.m.
The fire department said that more than a dozen engine crews and two hand crews were sent to the location and encountered flames moving to the east at a moderate rate.
Three Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were summoned and made runs on the brusher, preventing it from reaching residences in a mobile home park just north of Idaleona Road, as well as other properties located along or beneath rocky hillsides in the area.
As the head of the fire approached residences amid increasing winds, officials ordered evacuations east of Gavilan, south of Esperanza Drive, west of Piedras Road and north of Idaleona. About two dozen properties were impacted. However, the evacuation order was lifted at 5 p.m.
One firefighter suffered a non-life-threatening injury, but the circumstances were not immediately known.
As of 6:30 p.m., crews were making steady progress encircling the blaze, which was expected to be fully contained overnight.
California Highway Patrol officers shut down Gavilan from Cajalco Road to Idaleona for public safety, and that closure was expected to remain in effect until Tuesday morning.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
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