Firefighters battling Woodcrest fire. Courtesy KeyNews.TV

Firefighters stopped the forward progress of a fire that burned a grove of palm trees in the unincorporated Riverside County community of Woodcrest Saturday, with area residents evacuated for some seven hours.

The roughly three-acre blaze was first reported at 12:16 p.m. in the 15000 block of Cartwright Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. At 6:08 p.m., mop-up operations were underway.

Fire officials said the flames were burning near structures, and as a precaution, the area south of John F. Kennedy Drive, north of Van Buren Boulevard, east of Porter Avenue and west of Dauchy Avenue was evacuated. The evacuation warning was lifted at 7:30 p.m.

People were urged by fire officials to use caution when returning to the area.

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