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500-acre fire contained in Riverside County

May 13, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
Scores of homes were threatened, but firefighters managed to contain a fast-moving wildfire in Riverside County. The fire is 100 percent contained.Firefighters said an aggressive attack and favorable weather overnight helped them to gain the advantage on the fire.

Residents breathed a sigh of relief after the threat was over. The flames came about 100 feet of homes in southern Fontana, but firefighters set backfires and wiped out some of the tall grass that was posing a threat. In some places, the fire burned itself out because there was no vegetation.

The fire scorched about 500 acres.

Fontana residents did not have to evacuate, but many people were prepared to leave their homes. Authorities said natural and man-made fire breaks helped protect the homes.

"There is a large wall, a block wall, that is built completely around the entire housing tract, and there's also a road that is actually paved on the opposite side that serves as a natural barrier," said one fire captain.

The fire began in Glen Avon in Riverside County at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, forcing the evacuation of mobile homes at the Santiago Estates. Thirty-two out of the 126 units were threatened by the blaze.

Fifteen mph winds gusting up to 25 mph fanned the flames toward Fontana, but those winds eventually died down. Humidity was also moderate at 25 percent, which aided the fire fight.

No injuries have been reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation, but authorities believe a tractor may have sparked the blaze.


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