With wind and hot temperatures expected over the weekend, firefighters aren't taking any chances as they continue to stamp out a blaze that has consumed at least 311 acres in the Riverside area. Many residents were prepared for the fire, but one nearly lost her home to the flames Thursday night. Jacob Rascon reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 5 and 6 p.m. on March 1, 2013.
Light winds and cool temperatures allowed firefighters to make progress on a wildfire that caused power outages and prompted evacuations Thursday near Riverside.
By 5 p.m. Friday, the Jurupa Wildfire was about 60 percent contained and had scorched about 311 acres, a figure that held steady since the morning.
Twenty engines, one bulldozer, a helicopter and eight fire crews were assigned to the fire at 6 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., 311 acres had burned and the fire was 40 percent contained. At 4 a.m., the blaze had consumed 200 acres and was 30 percent contained.
Power was restored early Friday to Riverside residents, some of whom watched as flames neared their homes. Wind gusts tossed embers over a wide area Friday evening, sparking small brush fires.
"It was way too close," said homeowner Matt Kolstad.
About 1,800 homes were without power at one point.
The vegetation fire was reported about 4:43 p.m. near Rio Road and Calle Hermosa in Jurupa Valley, at the south end of Santa Ana River Regional Park (map). The fire grew from 10 acres to 50 acres by 5:45 p.m., according to the Riverside County Fire Department's online incident report. The fire scorched between 50 and 75 acres by 6:50 p.m.; and grew to consume 150 acres by 8:45 p.m.
Firefighters told NBC4 they expected crews to remain in the area through Friday evening as crews attempt to form a fire line. Warm and windy conditions are forecast for the region.
Firefighters used deliberately set blazes, known as backfires, to help control the fire. The tactic is meant to burn possible fuel in the fire's path.
At least one structure, a shed, was damaged.