Brush fire breaks out in Riverside County near Cahuilla Indian Reservation

City News Service
Friday, July 28, 2023
Brush fire breaks out in Riverside County near Cahuilla reservation
Video shared with Eyewitness News shows a plume of smoke as traffic was diverted.

AGUANGA, Calif. (CNS) -- A brush fire that erupted Thursday on the edge of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation south of Aguanga consumed roughly 411 acres and burned into hills, with spot fires breaking out ahead of the main blaze, keeping crews busy.

The non-injury "Bonny Fire'' was reported about 2:50 p.m. in the area of Bonny and Barber lanes, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The agency said multiple engine and hand crews from the county, U.S. Forest Service and other agencies were sent to the remote location and encountered flames moving at a moderate rate through medium vegetation, with scattered houses and outbuildings in the path of the brusher.

An evacuation order has been placed for those living south of Bailey, west of Chapman, north of Running Springs, and east of Bonny Lane.

Six Cal Fire air tankers and three water-dropping helicopters made a series of runs on the blaze that closed off the left flank and mitigated the threat to most of the structures.

The head of the brusher jumped a road amid light winds and moved into hills, creating challenges for ground personnel, according to reports from the scene.

Personnel were also contending with spot fires popping up outside the main conflagration, relying on air support to help knock them down.

No evacuation warnings were imminent as of 5:30 p.m.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

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