REDLANDS (CBSLA) — Firefighters made good progress overnight on a brush fire which broke out in the foothills of southern Redlands Wednesday evening, threatening homes and forcing dozens of residents to evacuate.
The Bruder Fire has burned about 170 acres and was 50% contained as of 8:30 p.m. Thursday, according to CAL Fire.
The blaze was reported north of Live Oak Canyon Road, between San Timoteo Canyon Road and the 10 Freeway, shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday.
It quickly spread, forcing mandatory evacuations for about 50 homes, though all evacuations were lifted by 6 p.m. Thursday.
More than 250 firefighters were battling the blaze on the ground with the help of water-dropping helicopters. CAL Fire and the Redlands Fire Department were in unified command on the fire.
Weather conditions overnight helped crews increase containment lines. Fire officials said they will be very aggressive throughout Thursday morning while conditions are in their favor. They are hoping they can get more containment before winds are expected to pick up Thursday afternoon.
“I’ve been through this before, I’ve got a pump here, we haven’t even needed to start that up or anything,” evacuated homeowner Ken Layman told CBSLA early Thursday. “They’re doing such a good job I fear not right now.”
A heat wave which began Monday will remain in place through Friday. The National Weather Service has issued a fire weather watch for the Inland Empire that will be in effect from 3 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday due to low humidity, high temperatures and a Santa Ana wind event with gusts of up to 45 miles per hour.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.