RIVERSIDE (AP) — A wildfire in the heavily vegetated Santa Ana River bottom has been held to 311 acres, despite gusty Santa Ana winds, extremely dry conditions and temperatures in the 80s.
[UPDATE: As of 6 p.m. Saturday — two hours before schedule — authorities said the fire was fully contained.]
Two crews were tending to remaining hot spots Saturday, said Jody Hagemann, a spokeswoman for the Riverside County Fire Department.
At its peak, the fire downed power lines and burned near a residential area, prompting a call for voluntary evacuations. That order was lifted and electricity was restored by Friday morning, county fire officials said.
On Thursday, a backyard trailer went up in flames about a quarter-mile from the fire lines in a neighborhood where embers were flying, but fire officials couldn’t immediately say whether the wildfire embers sparked it.
No injuries were reported.
Southern California’s Santa Ana winds are most often associated with fall but can occur through winter. They are created when air moving clockwise around an area of surface high pressure in the interior of the West flows down through passes and canyons in the region’s mountains, gaining speed and warmth as they blow from a northeasterly direction toward the Pacific Ocean.
Numerous Southern California points saw Saturday high temperatures in the 80s.
The National Weather Service said the surface high pressure over the Great Basin was expected to slowly weaken Saturday.
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