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California Briefing / Riverside County

Firefighters gain against blaze fanned by wind

August 07, 2009|Robert J. Lopez

Firefighters in Riverside County, taking advantage of a drop in the winds, were making headway against a brush fire Thursday evening that had prompted evacuations and threatened structures, officials said.

The blaze, which had burned about 125 acres, was 50% contained as air tankers and water-dropping helicopters aided firefighters who were making a stand amid dry chaparral in the Winchester area, said Capt. Phil Rawlings of the Riverside County Fire Department.

He said the fire broke out about 3:30 p.m. and quickly spread as winds from 35 mph to 50 mph whipped through the area. By evening, the winds had died down.

Earlier in the afternoon, Rawlings said, flames came close to burning 50 structures.

No injuries were reported.

Rawlings said flames destroyed a shed and an unoccupied structure. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

-- Robert J. Lopez

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