Brush fire erupts near Rancho Cucamonga in hot, windy conditions

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.

Flames erupted just after 8 a.m. Wednesday north of the 210 Freeway and north of Etiwanda. Twenty acres quickly grew to 200 acres by 10 a.m. About three hours later, crews estimated the "Etiwanda Fire" had grown to 800 acres. At 3:40 p.m., the fire had grown to more than 1,000 acres, according to authorities.

Ground crews are battling flames, but aircraft were unable to assist due to high winds, officials said. Gusts in the canyon reached 70 miles per hour, and temperatures soared to the 90s in the Inland Empire.

A mandatory evacuation order was temporarily issued for at least 1,650 homes north of Banyan between Rochester and Etiwanda and north of Wilson from Etiwanda and west to the Day Creek Wash. The mandatory evacuations were lifted by 5:30 p.m. Voluntary evacuations remained in place north of Hillside Road from Haven Avenue to Carnelian Street.

No structures were immediately threatened.

An evacuation center for people and animals was set up at Central Park on Baseline Road and Milliken Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga. Small animals can be taken to Animal Center at 11780 Arrow Route in Rancho Cucamonga.

Day Creek Intermediate School, John L. Golden Elementary and Los Osos High School were evacuated due to the amount of smoke in the area.

All classes, events and activities at Chaffey College Rancho Cucamonga Campus were canceled on Wednesday.

Road closures include Milliken Avenue from Wilson Avenue to north city limits, Day Creek Boulevard from Banyan Street to north city limits, Etiwanda Avenue from Banyan Street to north city limits, Hillside Road from Haven Avenue to the western city limits and Banyan Street from Milliken Avenue to Day Creek Boulevard.

At least 706 personnel from the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE, Ranch Cucamonga Fire Protection District and San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department are assisting in the firefighting efforts.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.

Area school closures were announced for Thursday:

  • Los Osos High School
  • Rancho Cucamonga High School
  • Etiwanda High School
  • Day Creek Intermediate School
  • Caryn Elementary School
  • Golden Elementary School
  • Banyan Elementary Schools
  • Alta Loma Christian High School
  • Chaffey College

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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