Bonita Fire: Wildfire burns in dry, windy Riverside County mountains

Posted at 8:16 AM, Jan 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-15 11:17:03-05

MOUNTAIN CENTER, Calif. (AP) -- Firefighters are battling a wildfire in the inland mountains of Southern California as Santa Ana winds gust through the region, where little rain has fallen this winter and vegetation is very dry.

Cal Fire says the Bonita Fire in Riverside County erupted shortly after 1 a.m. and grew to 600 acres before dawn, triggering evacuations in Mountain Center, a tiny community in the San Jacinto Mountains about 90 miles east of Los Angeles.

The first engine company arriving on scene reported the fire was burning in heavy vegetation, including pine trees.