Multiple fires erupt as heat wave descends on Southern California

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Multiple fires erupt as heat wave descends on Southern California

Amid dangerous heat wave conditions, several wildfires ignited across Southern California — including one that torched some outbuildings in Riverside County.


Several wildfires ignited across Southern California on Tuesday — including one that torched several buildings in Riverside County — highlighting the dangerous conditions the region faces during this week’s heat wave.

The Rider fire was first reported at 12:43 p.m. on Seaton Avenue in Mead Valley, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/Riverside County Fire Department. Crews were able to get the upper hand by 2 p.m., stopping the fire’s forward progress, but not before several outbuildings and vehicles had been destroyed.

As of 4:30 p.m., the fire had burned 32 acres and was 60% contained.


Larger was the Springs fire, which has scorched 60 acres in the unincorporated area of Moreno Valley since it was reported at 4:46 p.m., officials said. That fire was 70% contained as of Tuesday evening.

A heat wave is expected to hit Southern California this week, bringing ‘elevated’ fire danger to the region and increasing the chance for heat-related illness.

July 10, 2023

Another blaze broke out in the city of Orange around 12:15 p.m. and threatened some homes before firefighters made an “aggressive stop.” Yet another, dubbed the Snake fire, has burned roughly 30 acres near Lindell Road and Snake Road in Lake Elsinore.

That fire was considered 30% contained as of late Tuesday afternoon. One firefighter battling the blaze was taken to a hospital “with a non-life threatening injury,” officials said.

Another fire burned Monday night above Chatsworth and was contained early Tuesday morning.

And a vehicle fire in Elysian Park spread to approximately one acre of brush and temporarily forced the closure of some southbound lanes on the 110 Freeway before it was fully contained Tuesday afternoon, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. No injuries or structure damage were reported.

The blazes are erupting as Southern California faces “elevated” fire danger amid the onset of a significant heat wave.


Temperatures throughout the region between Tuesday and Saturday are expected to reach as high as 112 degrees, with overnight lows in the 70s and 80s. However, the coasts will be cooler, with high temperatures expected to be in the 70s to mid-80s.

Firefighting officials say the chemical agent is an integral tool as Western wildfires intensify. Some forest advocates say the environmental stakes are too high.

July 5, 2023

According to the National Weather Service, the hottest temperatures will arrive later this week and into the weekend. Conditions will be drier overall as well, because the marine layer depth will be lower than normal, the agency added.

The weather service said there will also be elevated fire conditions this week across the deserts, mountains and interior valleys.

Todd Hall, a meteorologist at the agency’s office in Oxnard, said it’s typical for vegetation to dry out after the rainy season. As moisture levels go down, however, vegetation becomes fuel for fires — with critical levels usually reached around July and continuing through November.

“The mountains that were green in March, April, are now turning brown,” he said. “And so those are those grasses that we’re starting to see that have cured. They’re ready to be kind of basically fuel for fire.”

Cal Fire Capt. Chris Bruno said that firefighters are constantly preparing for these changes in temperature throughout the year.


Bruno added that it is important for people to prepare for the heat by staying hydrated and having adequate supplies when they go outside. Should any fires erupt, he said, nearby residents should stay informed about road closures and evacuation warnings or orders.

Times staff writer Jeremy Childs contributed to this report.