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110-acre Jurupa Valley vegetation fire is 40% contained; evacuation warning lifted

Riverside Press-Enterprise logo Riverside Press-Enterprise 6/26/2022 Hunter Lee, The Press-Enterprise

A 110-acre vegetation fire in the Santa Ana River bottom in Jurupa Valley was 40% contained on Sunday morning, and an evacuation warning for nearby homes was lifted.

“Firefighters made good progress overnight, working to build containment lines,” the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department tweeted shortly before 8 a.m. Sunday.

Containment is a perimeter, natural or created by fire crews, beyond which a fire is not expected to spread.

Crews were called shortly before 4 p.m. Saturday to the vicinity of Indian Camp Road and Candle Light Drive, near the Jurupa Hills Country Club. The Union fire – initially called the Candle fire – was first reported at 40 acres.

As of 7:45 p.m., the forward spread of the fire had been halted and it was measured at 110 acres, but with no containment. Mandatory evacuations were downgraded to warnings.

Crews attacked the fire on the ground and from the air. An evening update from Cal Fire/Riverside said 28 engine companies including 210 firefighters were assigned and assisted by two air tankers and one helicopter. News footage from the scene showed crews trying to protect nearby homes.

The fire area is south of the 60 Freeway, north of the 91 and east of the 15. Residents South of Limonite Avenue, North of Riverview Drive, East of Avenue Juan Diaz and West of Maverick Lane previously were in the warning area.

Temperatures in the area were in the low 90s Saturday evening with wind speeds of around 10 to 15 mph, and gusts up to 25 mph, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Brian Adams. Humidity was in the mid to upper teens.

Over the next few days the heat is expected to reach highs of 102 to 105, Adams said. The strongest winds will occur from noon into late evenings.

The cause of the Union fire is under investigation.

On Friday, Cal Fire/Riverside said its investigators were looking into the cause of the Palomino fire on June 17 near the intersection of Limonite Avenue and El Palomino Drive.

“Cal Fire Peace Officers have determined the Palomino fire to be human-caused and originated from one of many homeless encampments illegally established in the riparian area, however, investigators are working with limited information,” said an agency statement.

Anyone with information can call the Riverside County Fire Department Arson Hotline at (800) 633-2836.

A separate fire on Saturday afternoon in Lake Perris State Recreation Area was contained at 25 acres, Cal Fire/Riverside said. Information on the cause of that fire was not immediately available.

Staff writer Caitlin Antonios contributed to this report.

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