UPDATE: Blaze West of Perris Burns About 55 Acres, Threatens Properties

City News Service Pristine Villarreal

PERRIS (CNS) – A brush fire that broke out west of Perris, scorching roughly 55 acres and destroying two homes, was 60% contained Wednesday, prompting authorities to lift all evacuation orders while cautioning residents to remain alert to any changes.

The Juniper Fire erupted at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday near the intersection of Juniper and Santa Rosa Mine roads, between Gavilan Hills and Perris, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

In addition to burning down two homes, the brusher damaged at least two outbuildings and three cars, as well as an RV, officials said.

An evacuation order went into effect within an hour of the blaze starting, impacting properties south of Blue Sky Road, east of Baquero Road, west of Maywood Club Road and north of Rocky Hills Road.

As of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, all evacuation mandates were canceled and downgraded to warnings, meaning residents were free to come and go while not interfering with fire attack operations.

At the height of the blaze, multiple engine and hand crews from the county, Hemet Fire Department, Corona Fire Department, Murrieta Fire & Rescue and Riverside Fire Department were at the location, battling flames that moved at a rapid rate to the east amid moderate winds.

Cal Fire air tankers and water-dropping helicopters began making runs on the brusher prior to the arrival of ground crews, slowing the blaze and closing off one of its flanks.

Six tankers and four choppers were overhead, with about 160 personnel on the ground working to contain it Tuesday, officials said. The fire’s forward rate of spread was stopped at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

A count of resources on hand Wednesday was unavailable.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Copyright 2023, City News Service, Inc.

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