A massive brush fire broke out in Riverside County on Monday, scorching more than 1,219 acres of land, crossing a major highway, and causing damage to at least one property. The blaze, known as the Highland Fire, prompted evacuation orders and warnings as firefighters battled to contain the flames.
The fire started around 12:40 p.m. in the vicinity of Highlands and Aguanga Ranchos roads, near the junction of Highways 79 and 371. Multiple engine and hand crews from various agencies, including the Riverside County Fire Department, Corona Fire Department, and U.S. Forest Service, were dispatched to the area to combat the fire.
Fueled by moderate winds and challenging terrain, the fire rapidly spread to the west, endangering nearby residences. At one point, the flames even crossed Highway 371, heading towards the 45100 and 45800 blocks of the highway. Tragically, a house in the 45800 block of Jojoba Road suffered damage from the fire, though the occupants managed to escape unharmed.
As a safety precaution, evacuation orders were issued for a wide area surrounding the fire zone, encompassing Boulder Vista Street to the west, Becker Lane to the east, Cottonwood Creek to the north, and Golden Eagle Drive to the south, among other boundaries. An evacuation warning was also put in place for additional areas adjacent to the fire zone.
To ensure the welfare of evacuees, a care and reception center was set up at Great Oak High School in Temecula. Additionally, the San Jacino Valley Animal Campus offered a safe haven for pets. The California Highway Patrol implemented road closures, redirecting motorists away from the affected area for their safety.
At the time of this writing, the Highland Fire remains uncontained, making it imperative for firefighting crews to work diligently to encircle the wildfire. Authorities are currently investigating the exact cause of the fire, which started near a residential property.
1. How large is the Highland Fire?
The Highland Fire has scorched over 1,219 acres of land in Riverside County.
2. Were any properties damaged?
Yes, at least one property, a house in the 45800 block of Jojoba Road, was reportedly damaged by the fire.
3. Which areas were under evacuation orders?
The evacuation orders covered an area encompassing Boulder Vista Street to the west, Becker Lane to the east, Cottonwood Creek to the north, Golden Eagle Drive to the south, Highway 371 to the south, Soreson to the west, and County Line Road to the north.
4. Where were the evacuation centers set up?
A care and reception center was established at Great Oak High School in Temecula, while the San Jacino Valley Animal Campus offered assistance to residents with pets.