Riverside County brush fire spreads to 200 acres; evacuations ordered – Los Angeles Times

Riverside County brush fire spreads to 200 acres; evacuations ordered - Los Angeles Times
Brush fire burns 200 acres east of Nuevo; evacuation ordered for a neighborhood in San Jacinto
Riverside County crews raced to extinguish a brush fire Saturday evening burning amid heavy vegetation near the Juniper Flats neighborhood, east of Nuevo;  and near a San Jacinto neighborhood, authorities said.

The Horseshoe fire was measured at 200 acres with 10 percent containment as of 11:33 p.m.,  according to the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department. It had been measured at 100 acres with 0% containment as of 8:40 p.m. That was up from 75  acres reported at 6:40 p.m.; and 10 acres just after the fire started.

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A view of the Horseshoe fire from a SoCal Edison fire camera in Idyllwild, looking east toward the San Jacinto and Hemet communities, taken at about 7 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2019. (Courtesy of the Nevada Seismological Laboratory)

09/05/2019 7:09, EAST, Halls Gulch NE of Trinity Lake, 0.25 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 7:22, LADY, Lady Gulch Trinity Alps Wilderness, 1 acre, CONTAINED 09/05/2019 7:25, LICK, east of Trinity Lake, unable to locate 09/05/2019 8:16, CEMENT, east of Trinity Lake, unable to locate 09/05/2019 8:18, FOOL, west of Trinity Lake, 0.1 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 8:20, QUARTZ, west of Trinity Lake, unable To locate 09/05/2019 8:23, SLATE, west of Trinity Lake, 2 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 9:07, MIDDLE, NE of Canyon Creek Trailhead, 454 acres, staffed (link goes to Middle Fire InciWeb page) 09/05/2019 10:13, EASTMAN, south of Tunnel Rock .25 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 10:38, WAGNER, Billy’s Peak west of Trinity Lake, 0.1 acres, CONTAINED 09/05/2019 10:44, HATCHET, east of Poison Canyon .5 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 11;15, JAKES, Jakes Upper Camp, 1.8 acres, staffed 09/05/2019 12:18, RANCH, located above Rancheria Creek, 0.2 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 12:56, CUTTHROAT, west of Cutthroat Gulch, 15 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 2:29, IRISH, Jackass Springs, 0.1 acres, OUT 09/05/2019 2:53, SWIFT, NW of Trinity Center, OUT 09/05/2019 4:50, HOBEL, SW of Trinity Center, OUT 09/05/2019 5:39, RAMSHORN, Ramshorn Creek north of Bonanza King Mtn., 279 acres, CONTAINED 09/06/2019 10:14, HORSESHOE, Horseshoe Lake, 0.25 acres, CONTAINED 09/06/2019 12:34, LAKE, Toad Lake, 0.1 acres CONTAINED 09/09/2019 7:21, NORWEGIAN, Trinity Center, 0.1 acres, OUT

A brush fire broke out Saturday evening in the area of Horseshoe Trail in Juniper Flats, east of Nuevo in Riverside County. (Photo courtesy William Hayes/OC HAWK)

The Kidder 2 Fire had minimal fire activity with smoke production from the interior of the perimeter. The 24-hour AQI for the Yreka, Happy Camp and Ashland monitors were all in the Good (green) range yesterday. The Hornbrook monitor was reading Moderate (yellow) during the day due to local sources other than the Lime and Kidder 2 Fires and will be relocated today. Four additional monitors were set up surrounding the fire in Oak Knoll, Fort Jones, Etna and Montague. All three monitors have been in the Good range since yesterday afternoon/evening. Due similar weather conditions and fire behavior today, smoke production on the Kidder 2 Fire may increase today and minimal smoke may settle into Etna briefly late at night and early in the morning. The 24-hour AQI is forecasted to be in the Good (green) range for all locations, with possible hours of Moderate (yellow) air quality in Etna late night/early morning. The 24-hour Air Quality Index (AQI)…”

Brush fire spreads across Riverside County

Expand As the fire crept down a steep ridge toward homes in San Jacinto, authorities ordered mandatory evacuations for a cluster of homes including in The Cove area near the intersection of Cottonwood Avenue and Warren Road, the fire department said about 7:20 p.m. The orders included a new tract of homes located west of Warren Road and south of Mulberry Street, which is southeast of where the fire started.

#HorseshoeFire All residents east of Cottonwood and south of Mulberry mandatory evacuations due to fire activity. Care and reception at Tahquitz High School. pic.twitter.com/ELOF64ZDap

Provide point protection for structures and critical values at risk. Improve the Humboldt Trail to the northwest in preparation for possible firing operations. Continue firing operations on the northwest flanks as conditions allow. Hold improve, and mop up the extent necessary to keep the fire within existing containment lines to the extent necessary. Continue to scout line on the south western flank, and keep fire north of Cottonwood Creek. Scout and plan contingency line to the north of Yolla Bolly Middle Eel Wilderness. Improve the Humboldt Trail to the northwest in preparation for possible firing operations. Cal Fire will continue to improve and strengthen control lines, mop up 200 feet and perform suppression repair needed in Branch 10.”

75-acre brush fire erupts in Riverside community of Juniper Flats : LIVE

A care and reception center was established for evacuees at Tahquitz High School, 4425 Titan Trail, Hemet.

New fires are being reported in California almost every day as we continue through September. Here’s a look at the latest wildfires for September 15, 2019, including the Horseshoe Fire in Juniper Flats This article first includes interactive maps for all of California, including Cal Fire and other sources. Then the second section details specific fires in the region in alphabetical order. Remember that when it comes to fires, details such as evacuations can change quickly, so stay tuned to your local news sources. This story will provide links for where updates will be posted for each individual fire, when available.

San Jacinto residents living several miles from the evacuation zone stood from their yards throughout Saturday evening, watching the fire inch closer toward their neighbors.

Inciweb noted in its most recent update from September 8: “Approximately 40 fires have been confirmed in the Klamath National Forest from the storms on Wednesday night and Thursday. Most have been managed and remain small, between 1/10th of an acre to five acres. Resources are on scene or responding to all of these fires. Additional information for two larger fires, the Lime on the Happy Camp/Oak Knoll District and the Kidder 2 on the Salmon/Scott District are being updated on InciWeb separately on their own pages. We will continue to update InciWeb as new information is available.”

Naomi Cordy, who lives with her family in a nearby tract of homes, said they were told they are not under any sort of threat, but grew nervous as they traced the fire moving lower along the hills.

The Middle Fire showed moderate fire behavior yesterday, adding 121 acres for a total size of 575 acres. It continues to move south towards the Little East Fork of Canyon Creek, burning actively in timbered areas. Because of higher moisture levels the fire is barely burning in the brushy areas. Planned activities for today include the construction of indirect fireline for protection of private property and historic sites. A total of 109 personnel are currently assigned to the Middle Fire. Cooler temperatures are predicted for today with the possibility of showers over the fire today.

“The police did say they have everything under control, but every time I step outside, it looks like it’s getting worse and coming down the mountain,” Cordy said.

“It looks good out there. The wind and weather are working in our favor … ” Cal Fire/Riverside spokesman Rob Roseen said, adding he had no reports of structures that were damaged or destroyed.

Over time the amount of heavy downed fuels on the ground, along with the proliferation of white fire trees has greatly increased the amount of fuel available to wildfire. This large quantity of fuel could increase the intensity of a fast moving fire and cause severe damage to the soils, trees and watershed. The Fork Fire will help reduce the dead and down fuel loading and improve wildlife habitat. The results are expected to promote long-term ecosystem integrity and sustainability and reduce the damage of high-severity wildland fires for the area in the future.

But Emmett Lymuel Jr., who drives along Warren Road each day, said he had a vantage point of flames moving very low toward a tract of homes that were recently constructed.

“It appears for the fire to be that low, some of those homes must be in danger,” said Lymuel while standing from his yard, looking west at the flames and the sparkling lights of fire crew engines. Lymuel has lived at his San Jacinto home for 15 years and has never seen a fire this close to the home.

Even though they appeared to be out of path of the fire, Lymuel and his wife were planning to evacuate to a hotel due to concern of air quality as black plumes of smoke blew into their neighborhood.

On the other end of the hills toward Nuevo, the fire prompted road closures for portions of Juniper Flats Road and Stagecoach Road, said Riverside County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Robyn Flores.

The blaze started shortly before 5:52 p.m. near the 21000 block of Horseshoe Trail in Juniper Flats, a rural neighborhood east of Nuevo, said Roseen.

More than 230 firefighters were called to battle the fire, along with a helicopter and two air tankers that made drops along the fire line to try and prevent its spread, Roseen said.

Though winds were slow in the area, blowing at 5 miles per hour, the heat persisted at 95 degrees earlier Saturday evening, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service.

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My neighbor just sent me this video of what my backyard view looks like right now. No one is allowed to enter my neighborhood any more. #HorseShoeFirepic.twitter.com/bwUrWPMT2o

Some 235 firefighters were deployed to the blaze, dubbed the ‘Horseshoe Fire’, along with two air tankers and one helicopter. No injuries have so far been reported. 

T-73, last drop of the night.#HorseshoeFire@CALFIRERRU Contour Ave / Warren St in Juniper Flats pic.twitter.com/qF9cFnxNW1

The latest wildfire comes as California continues to battle its biggest wildfire of 2019. Nearly 2,000 firefighters are tackling the Walker Fire that’s already burned more than 50,000 acres in the Plumas National Forest, northeast of Sacramento. 

Damage caused by California wildfires has grown five-fold over the past 40 years. NASA says the increase in wildfires is indicative of climate change and warned that they will become more common and harder to stop as we live in a warmer and drier climate. 

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