RIVERSIDE — A fire fanned by hot winds scorched 105 acres of brush in Rancho Cucamonga on Monday, damaging three homes and several vehicles and forcing the evacuation of 100 residents before it was declared contained, authorities said.
Meantime, firefighters battling a 1,200-acre blaze in the sparsely populated San Jacinto Mountains, southwest of Banning, said the fire was mostly contained by Monday afternoon after burning for more than 24 hours.
The two blazes illustrate the hazardous brush fire conditions throughout the region, authorities said, as hot, dry weather turns the ample vegetation--unusually dense because of heavy winter rains--into kindling.
"It's the worst I've seen in probably five years," said Capt. Russ Russell of the state Department of Forestry and Fire Protection in Beaumont.
The Rancho Cucamonga blaze, reported at 2:30 p.m., erupted in a grassy field on the city's mostly undeveloped east end, said Kim Aguayo, a fire department spokeswoman.
The cause was unknown Monday, but the fire threatened various residences, forcing 100 people to evacuate, Aguayo said. One resident who was slightly burned was treated at an area hospital and released, she said, noting that three homes and two vehicles sustained damage.
In the San Jacinto Mountains, a fire possibly started by people discharging weapons was reported about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, forcing the closure of a stretch of California 243.
By Monday afternoon, firefighters said, the blaze was mostly contained, although full control was expected to be delayed for some time.