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Brush fire erupts in Mentone, forces evacuations

June 28, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A brush fire erupted in San Bernardino County, quickly scorching 350 acres and forcing evacuations Friday.

The fire was 5 percent contained as of 11 p.m. Authorities say the blaze, dubbed the Mill Fire, was reported east of the 4200 block of Mill Creek Road at 2:09 p.m., moving southeast by light winds. The area has not burned in a long time, officials said.

Flames pushed along the hills from Highway 38 and threatened homes, according to Bill Peters of Cal Fire. Winds in the area were not gusting, but it was so dry that the brush fire moved quickly.

There are about 200 firefighters helping in the fire fight, as well as at least two air tankers. The fire slowed as it headed south, away from homes.

Evacuation orders have been lifted for Yucaipa residents. At one point, about 40 to 50 homes south of Highway 38, west of Bryant Street and north of Oak Glen Road were evacuated. Residents were seen evacuating horses from a large horse property in the area.

An evacuation center was set up at St. Francis Xavier Cabrini Church, 12687 California St. Officials say evacuated residents can bring their animals to Yucaipa Regional Park. Highway 38 in the area was shut down.

One home was damaged, but the fire was contained to the attic. A swing set at the house also burned to the ground. No injuries were reported. The cause of the fire is under investigation.


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