Around 4 a.m., volunteers rushed to evacuate animals from the Mary S. Roberts Pet Adoption Center, not far from the Santa Ana River bottom and next door to an industrial building that went up in flames.
Although winds were blowing in the opposite direction, workers raced to save more than 90 cats and dogs in the shelter. Eyewitness News' Rob McMillan joined volunteers who sprang into action, grabbing leashes and helping to get the animals to safety.
"For the most part, all the animals, they just look very afraid. It's a lot going on right now, but they're all intact, they're all still healthy and alright right now," adoption center employee Marcus Sanders said.
After a few minutes, the danger passed, and the handful of good Samaritans and workers rushed the cats and dogs back indoors.
The 46 Fire began in nearby Jurupa Valley and later pushed into the city of Riverside, where it scorched more than 300 acres and was 5% contained by mid-morning.