By CBSLA Staff

RIVERSIDE (CBSLA) — On Sunday, Riverside firefighters got control of a 16-acre wildfire that threatened homes in the Riverside neighborhood of Arlanza.

The department tweeted that the residential buildings were threatened but none were damaged.

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Officials believe an off-road vehicle crash may have started the fire which began just before noon on Jurupa Avenue and Tyler Street. Residents on the north side of Valley Drive between Mitchell and Chadbourne avenues were evacuated as ninety firefighters, three bulldozers, two helicopters and two air tankers battled the blaze. 

“It was started by a vehicle that was driving illegally down by the river bottoms,” said Riverside City Fire Division chief Jeff DeLaurie. “It got stuck in the mulch pile and started the fire.”

According to the Riverside City Fire Department, a late model Toyota Supra crashed on private property where mulch was being stored, jumpstarting the fire. The two occupants exited the vehicle and escaped the fire. Both were not injured.

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Riverside County Animal Control also evacuated two horses, according to the department.

Multiple agencies responded including firefighters from Cal Fire, San Bernardino County, Corona Murrieta, Hemet and Ontrario. Smoke could still be seen at about 3:30 p.m.

“Fire crews will be working throughout the night overhauling the fire and protecting homes,” the department tweeted.

There continues to be a red flag warning for the region.

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A voluntary alert is in place because of the large amount of smoke blowing into nearby homes.