AGUANGA (CNS) – A brush fire burning in and around the Cahuilla Indian Reservation southeast of Aguanga was at 2,300 acres Monday and 20% contained, with evacuation orders and warnings still in place.
The “Bonny Fire” was reported about 2:50 p.m. Thursday in the area of Bonny and Barber lanes, and as of 11 a.m. Monday, the brusher was still active, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Crews were continuing to contend with spot fires ahead of the blaze, but winds were calm Monday morning, enabling firefighters to expand tentative containment lines.
“Firefighters continued constructing hand lines around the fire perimeter, with no significant fire growth throughout the night,” according to a fire department statement Monday. “Unburned brush within the fire perimeter continues to be a threat to containment lines.”
The agency said crews were on guard for possible scattered thunderstorms in the area, raising the prospects of “erratic fire behavior.”
Shortly after 2 p.m. Friday, the fire nearly swept across Chapman and Johnston roads, prompting Cal Fire air tankers and water-dropping helicopters to unload in the immediate vicinity of several homes, protecting them from damage, according to reports from the scene.
One outbuilding and a vehicle were destroyed Friday afternoon.
One firefighter was injured over the weekend, though not seriously.
Cal Fire tankers and choppers have been rotating in and out of the area, providing support to an estimated 2,000 personnel on the ground, including county engine and hand crews, as well as strike teams and other firefighters from the Corona Fire Department, Hemet Fire Department, Murrieta Fire & Rescue and other agencies.
Hot shot crews from Kern County were also dispatched to the area.
An evacuation order went into effect Thursday for the area south of Bailey Road, north of Running Springs Road, west of Chapman and east of Bonny. The order was expanded Friday afternoon to include all territory north of the San Diego County line, south of Bailey, west of Anza-Borrego State Park and east of Bonny.
An evacuation warning remained in place for the area north of the county line, south of La Clima Road, west of Anza-Borrego and east Spanish Spur Trail.
The area is sparsely populated.
A care and reception center is available at Hamilton High School, 57430 Mitchell Road, in Anza.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
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