Stolen Car in Police Chase Sparks Jurupa Valley’s 46 Fire

Max Rodriguez

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An overnight fire in Riverside County forces more than 3,000 people to leave their homes as rapid winds fanned the flames of the 46 Fire in Rancho Jurupa Park.

A stolen car at the center of a police chase now sits charred inside the park, Cal Fire Captain Fernando Herrera, said the fire started shortly after the police chase ended.

Herrera said, “That vehicle ended up in the park, the fire started after the vehicle had gone into the vegetation that subject was apprehended.”

Lupe Alvarez and her kids left their home after getting a call from her sister who told her to leave the house.

Alvarez said, “We could just see the flames all along the river bed by the park and at one o’clock in the morning, it looks really bad.”

In the daylight, she was able to get a closer look at her uncle’s property in the burn zone.

Alvarez said, “It looks a little less daunting, it looks a little more real, but also I feel safer because of all the activities with the fire department, the police officers and the helicopters.”

An emergency command post was set-up right across the street from the park where the fire started, it will become a mini-city where firefighters can eat, drink and sleep.

“We will have about 200, so we will be rotating the shifts around so at any given time you can have 100 firefighters come in here to rest,” Herrera said. “As more resources are ordered and needed for the fire then they are going to come here to stage.”

The firefighters could be in-and-out of the incident command past for several days, that is how long they expect it will take to control the fire as there is lots of brush that continue to smolder.

Many of the firefighters have worked multiple days straight they were busy battling the Hillside Fire not far away in San Bernardino County.

As for locals, evacuating their homes with ambers flying is something they never want to live through again.

Alvarez said, “My dad did a little bit of watering, some of us had tears in our eyes it was pretty unbelievable, my daughter described it, like an action movie.”

The evacuation orders for the 46 Fire were lifted as of Thursday evening.

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