Evacuation orders lifted as Chaparral Fire containment grows to 50%


Flames and smoke rise behind a home in the Murrieta area during the Chaparral Fire early Aug. 29, 2021. (Photo: OnScene.TV)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – All evacuation orders and warnings in San Diego and Riverside counties related to the Chaparral Fire have been lifted with the containment now at 50%, CAL Fire San Diego County announced Tuesday.

“Residents are reminded that firefighters are still in the area conducting mop-up operations and patrolling,” CAL Fire San Diego County tweeted. “Please drive with due regard for safety on the area’s narrow roads. Non-residents should stay away from the area until the Cleveland National Forest Closure Orders have been removed.”

Crews continue to make steady progress against the 1,427-acre Chaparral Fire burning in San Diego and Riverside counties, which erupted at the edge of the Cleveland National Forest and was 50% contained early Tuesday.

Mandatory evacuations for residents north of the Tenaja Truck Trail, south of Calle Cielo, east of Calle Collado and west of Calle Be Bietol were still in effect early Tuesday morning, with evacuation warnings in the area north of Tenaja Road, west of Calle Pino and Gallop Lane, south of Hombre Lane and west of Cleveland National Forest Road.

On Tuesday, authorities said they were evaluating the possibility of re-populating the Cold Springs area, but fire crews were still working on narrow, one-way roads, and they were still urging people to avoid the area.

“Firefighting efforts will continue throughout the week as firefighters work to cool hot spots and build containment line,” Cal Fire San Diego tweeted late Monday.

The U.S. Forest Service said firefighters were strategically clearing brush to prevent the flames from spreading into thicker vegetation.

An evacuation center was established at Murrieta Valley High School, 42200 Nighthawk Way, fire officials said.

Two structures were burned the first day of the fire, which was reported at 12:45 p.m. Saturday in the Cold Springs area, near Tenaja and Cleveland Forest roads. A firefighter suffered minor injuries, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

The blaze spans both Riverside and San Diego counties. On the Riverside County side, it was burning in the southwestern end of La Cresta, an unincorporated community at the foot of the Santa Ana mountains.

At the height of the blaze, four air tankers and multiple water- dropping helicopters were making runs on the flames. Along with USFS crews, personnel from the county, Cal Fire-San Diego, Murrieta Fire & Rescue, the Hemet and Corona fire departments were assigned to containment operations. Upwards of 532 firefighting personnel were onsite.

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