Fire crews make progress against Riverside blaze that forced evacuations

Blaze is about 40 percent contained

RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Flames from a ferocious wildfire burned palm trees along residential streets and came very close to homes in Riverside County, but dying winds have helped firefighters stop its progress.

10News learned the blaze has burned 311 acres and is now 40 percent contained.

Riverside County Fire spokeswoman Jody Hageman said residents from two streets were told to evacuate Thursday night at the peak of the fire that burned in and around Rancho Jurupa Regional Park, located about 100 miles north of San Diego.

Brenda Mendoza, who lives in the area, was shocked and saddened when she woke up Friday morning.

"You wake up and go for a walk and here it is all burned," Mendoza said. "[It] breaks your heart."
 
Barbara Seybels went to Rancho Jurupa Regional Park's campground to enjoy the beauty of nature, not expecting what would happen.

"It's just sad," Seybels said. "You don't mess with nature."
 
Flames jumped from treetops and hovered over houses, but firefighters managed to protect neighborhoods. Residents we spoke to were thankful it was just a close call for them.
 
"We thank all the firefighters for the good work that they do," Mendoza added.

About 200 firefighters, a helicopter and other equipment have been dispatched. No time estimate is available for the fire's full containment.

The National Weather Service issued a wind advisory for gusty offshore winds in Riverside County valleys, which could fan flames. The advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. Saturday.

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