A brush fire that broke out Wednesday alongside the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway just west of Beaumont scorched 23 acres and prompted the partial closure of the freeway before being fully contained about three hours after it began.
The non-injury fire was reported about 1:40 p.m. on the eastbound side of the freeway, near Jack Rabbit Trail, in a sparsely populated area known as the Badlands, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Riverside County Fire Department crews arrived within minutes and encountered flames on both sides of the freeway. A fire department spokeswoman said two air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter were called in to make runs on the fire.
The fire was 100 percent contained by 4:40 p.m. with 23 acres burned, the Riverside County Fire Department reported.
The CHP temporarily closed both sides of the freeway, beginning at Gilman Springs Road in Moreno Valley to the west and Jack Rabbit Trail to the east. However, the agency opened the No. 1 lane on the westbound side of the freeway at 2:15 p.m., allowing traffic to crawl through.
The eastbound side was shut down at Gilman Springs Road, and all eastbound traffic was diverted onto that north-south corridor. All eastbound lanes but one were reopened by 7 p.m., Caltrans reported.
There was no word on what triggered the blaze.
>> Want to read more stories like this? Get our Free Daily Newsletters Here!Follow us: