Wind-driven brush fire damages Jurupa Valley homes


The fire broke out at 9:09 a.m. near the intersection of Van Buren Boulevard and Rutile Street when strong winds were gusting more than 30 miles an hour. Fueled by the fast-moving winds, flames blew southwest across a two-acre field and into a line of homes.

"I could see it, the field behind the houses were all in flames and smoke and everything," said Zina Whitney of Jurupa Valley.

One home sustained heavy damage. Authorities were still trying to determine the extent of damage to other homes nearby. The front yard of one home was completely charred, but the actual house was not damaged.

Three residents were taken out of the area because of smoke inhalation. No other injuries were reported.

Joan Montano came to the scene to help her family, who was asleep when the fire broke out.

"That's why I came, because they were sleeping, and they woke up and it was just smoke everywhere," she said.

Firefighters made quick work of the blaze and began focusing on getting hot spots out. Fire officials said the field that burned behind the homes had been plowed, so it helped control the spread of the fire.

Eighty firefighters were on scene, and residents with hoses were trying to keep their homes and the ground wet.

The forward progress of the fire was stopped, but fire officials have not determined it to be contained. Winds remained a concern, and the relative humidity was at 7 percent.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Besides the blaze, gusty winds caused problems in the area. Fences were blown down, tree limbs were snapped and debris wafted onto roads.

A red-flag warning was in effect.

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