Riverside County Opera Fire 75 percent contained

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Firefighters in Riverside County were gaining the upper hand on Monday after working through the night to corral a wind-driven brush fire that threatened homes over the weekend. (KABC)

Firefighters in Riverside County were gaining the upper hand on Monday after working through the night to corral a wind-driven brush fire that threatened homes over the weekend.

Riverside fire officials said the Opera Fire, which has scorched 1,350 acres of grass and brush, is 75 percent contained and is no longer threatening structures.

The blaze grew rapidly from about 10 acres when first reported at 3:30 p.m. Sunday in the Highgrove community, located just north of Riverside at Opera Loop and East Palmyrita Avenue.

The wildfire was threatening homes and a radio tower in the Box Springs mountain area, but no homes had been reported damaged. As of Monday morning, no structures were threatened, fire officials said.

Fast-burning vegetation and high winds fueled the fire and officials said drones flying in the area also hampered their efforts.

"The fire really moved quickly. We had a little bit of wind and it just moved out, so, luckily, as the fire grew to 1,200 acres, 15 percent contained, the sun went down, the wind changed direction and it allowed us to get in there and put it out," said Cal Fire Capt. Lucas Spelman.

Crews were also working to get a handle on the Jameson Fire in the hills south of Corona.

Cal Fire officials said the fire started at about 6:30 p.m. on Jameson Road, near Calle Canyon Road.

The fire moved so quickly, firefighters didn't have time to issue evacuations. Crews spent the night hosing down hot spots and cutting brush to create control lines around the fire's perimeter.

The blaze has burned 15 acres and is about 40 percent contained. Firefighters said it is no longer a threat to structures.
Related Topics:
newsbrush firewildfirefireRiverside CountySan Bernardino County
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