Riverside County wildfire 90% contained, evacuations lifted

Data pix.

LA CRESTA, Calif. -- Evacuations were lifted Friday as crews started to get a handle on a brush fire that spread rapidly in Riverside County this week.

The wildfire, dubbed the Tenaja Fire, started just before 4 p.m. Wednesday in the La Cresta community near Murrieta. By Thursday evening the blaze had grown to 2,000 acres. At one point, as many as 2,000 residences were threatened with about 570 under mandatory evacuation orders, KTLA reports.

Friday morning, Cal Fire announced that crews had 20% containment. Mandatory evacuations began to lift and families were allowed to return home, although some communities were warned they should be ready to leave if conditions change.

Fire officials said they were still concerned that afternoon winds could pick up and bring another chance of heavy fire activity.

“The winds will come out of one direction in the morning — blowing out toward the ocean — and then by the afternoon we’ll get a 180-degree switch in the wind direction,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Todd Hopkins said Thursday.

By Friday evening, crews confirmed the fire was 25% contained, and the fire was 40% contained by 8 p.m. Saturday with 1,940 acres burned.

On Sunday evening, Cal Fire officials provided an update on the crews' progress, sharing that they had achieved 73% containment.

Cal Fire San Diego was among the local agencies helping crews in Riverside County starting Wednesday night.

Riverside County Fire said the fire was 90% contained as of 7:20 a.m. Monday.

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