Highland Fire: Fire burns 1,219 acres in Riverside County, prompting evacuations

By | October 31, 2023

AGUANGA, Calif. (CNS) – A brush fire that broke out Monday in Riverside County has burned more than 1,219 acres, crossed a highway and damaged at least one property, prompting evacuation orders and warnings.

The Highland Fire was listed as being at 0% containment Monday as of 7 p.m.

The fire was first reported around 12:40 p.m. in the area of ​​Highlands and Aguanga Ranchos roads, near the junction of Highways 79 and 371, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The agency said several engine and hand crews from the county, Corona, Hemet, Murrieta Fire & Rescue, Palm Springs, U.S. Forest Service and other agencies were dispatched to the scene and encountered flames moving at a moderate pace. the west.

Santa Ana winds became a significant factor as the afternoon progressed, although as of 5 p.m. they were easing, according to reports from the scene.

Shortly after 3 p.m., flames crossed Highway 371, heading west-southwest, heading toward residences in the 45100 and 45800 blocks of Highway 371, according to authorities.

A home in the 45800 block of Jojoba Road was reportedly damaged by the fire. The occupants escaped unharmed, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Evacuation orders were posted for the 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.

An evacuation warning has been issued for the area encompassing Shirley Way to the west, Vail Lake Resort to the east, David Street to the north, Pueblo Road to the south, Cahuilla Tribal Reservation Boundary to the west, County Line Road to the north, Cleveland National Forest to the north, Watts Road to the south, Esplendida Way, Avenida Bravura, Pauba Road to the east, De Portola Road and Round Top Canyon Road to the west.

CHP officers closed Highway 79 at County Line Road for public safety reasons. The 79/371 intersection was also closed and motorists turned around.

A care and reception center was established for evacuees at Great Oak High School, 32555 Deer Hollow Way in Temecula. Residents with pets, large and small, were asked to drop them off at the San Jacino Valley Animal Campus for safekeeping, 581 S. Grand Ave.

Six Cal Fire air tankers and four water-broadcast helicopters made runs on the brusher before ground crews arrived, closing off its eastern flank. However, winds fanned the flames as crews worked to surround the wildfire.

The fire broke out near a residence, but the exact cause is under investigation.

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