Wildfire that triggered evacuations in Riverside now 30% contained

A fast-moving wildfire that erupted near UC Riverside on Sunday afternoon and briefly triggering mandatory evacuations was 30% contained early Monday, as “optimal” weather conditions aided firefighters, officials said.

The blaze was reported about 4:10 p.m. Sunday near the 300 block of Blaine Street before it raced up Box Springs Mountain toward Moreno Valley.

In less than two hours, the blaze grew from 250 acres to 850 acres, burning uphill through dry brush.

Residents west of Hidden Springs Drive from Greenridge Drive to Country Gate Road in Moreno Valley were ordered to evacuate, authorities said. An evacuation center was opened at Canyon Springs High School at 23100 Cougar Canyon Road in Moreno Valley.

By 9 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted.

The blaze had charred 1,044 acres as of Monday morning, said April Newman, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department. The fire’s containment was listed as 44% overnight, but was reduced to 30% early Monday because firefighters were better able to map it in the daylight, she said.

“Conditions were good this morning,” Newman said Monday. “We had cooler temperatures, as well as a foggy layer that was around the area. … There’s very little wind right now, so morning weather conditions are optimal as far as us getting better control over the fire.”

About 404 firefighters, 35 engines and several water-dropping helicopters battled the blaze, Newman said. Crews were in place in Moreno Valley to prevent the fire from encroaching on homes.

The cause of the blaze was under investigation, authorities said.

alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @AleneTchek

​​​​​​​hailey.branson@latimes.com

Twitter: @haileybranson

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UPDATES:

8:05 a.m. Aug. 14: This article was updated with new information from Cal Fire.

10:25 p.m.: This article was updated to reflect that evacuation orders were lifted and that the fire was partially contained.

7:30 p.m.: This article was updated with information about an evacuation center.

6:13 p.m.: This article was updated with more information about the size of the fire.

This article was originally published at 5:30 p.m. on Aug. 13.

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