400-acre fire burns near Moreno Valley, triggering evacuations
A fast-moving fire near Moreno Valley has burned 400 acres and triggered mandatory evacuations, authorities said Thursday.
The Reche fire, reported shortly before 1 p.m., started in the 9000 block of Reche Canyon Road. The fire is 0% contained and spreading at a moderate rate. Officials say the blaze is threatening high-tension power lines in the area.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered north of Country Road on Reche Vista Road, Covey Road from Perris Boulevard to the dead end, and Reche Canyon Road east of Reche Vista Drive and west of Locust Avenue. Large and small animals may be taken to the San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus at 581 S. Grand Ave. in San Jacinto.
The Riverside County Emergency Management Department and Moreno Valley Office of Emergency Management opened a care and reception center at Canyon Springs High School at 23100 Cougar Canyon Road in Moreno Valley.
Jody Hagmann, a public information officer with the Riverside County Fire Department, said the cause of the fire is under investigation. Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Robyn Flores said she was unaware of any injuries caused by the fire.
The Reche fire is one of several burning in the Inland Empire amid dangerous red-flag conditions.
Santa Ana winds gusting up to 55 mph in the valleys and up to 70 mph in the mountains along with low humidity prompted the National Weather Service on Thursday to issue a red-flag warning for large swaths of the Southland.
Dry air made Thursday’s conditions particularly ripe for fire, experts said. Temperatures weren’t exceptionally high in Riverside County, hovering in the higher 70s and lower 80s, said Stefanie Sullivan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in San Diego.
Forecasters say strong winds are expected in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Diego counties through Friday afternoon. Humidity will range from 3% to 10%.
In a separate wind-driven fire in Fontana, two homes were damaged.
Another fire was burning near the interchange of the 210 and 15 freeways in Fontana.
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