CORONA (CBSLA.com) — While helpful weather overnight assisted firefighters battling a blaze near the 91 Freeway and the Prado Dam, the terrain has created difficulty containing the wildfire, officials said Sunday morning.
Firefighters were able to direct the blaze away from about 300 nearby homes, and evacuation orders were lifted around 4 a.m. Sunday morning, Cal Fire Capt. Mike Mohler said.
“We really focused last night on the open end of the fire that was near those structures,” Mohler told KCAL9’s Joy Benedict.
The fire started in the area near the 91 and 71 Freeways about 6 p.m. Saturday. As of 7 a.m. Sunday, the fire was reported to be 15 percent contained. Approximately 800 firefighters were on the scene, but the blaze was burning in terrain that required them to hike in.
“We just spoke with our night operations,” Mohler said. “They said last night they had a very difficult firefight, explosive fire growth, some fire that they’ve never seen in this type of area.”
Mohler anticipates a busy day for firefighters.
“We’ve brought in additional resources,” he said. “We’re going to again hit it hard on the ground. We’ve brought in additional aircraft. So, really, the weather is going to play a part in it today, but this is such thick vegetation, we really have a long way to go.”
As of 5:30 p.m. Sunday, officials said the fire burned more than 1,020 acres and was about 35 percent contained.
Residents were so grateful to Cal Fire for saving their homes, they inundated firefighters with food and water Sunday.
The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for parts of San Bernardino and Riverside counties on Sunday. The fire was sending smoke as far west as the San Fernando Valley by late Sunday morning.
Authorities on Sunday evening said they believed an unattended cooking fire was the cause of the blaze.