RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- A wildfire spread from Jurupa Valley to Riverside early Thursday, prompting evacuations, destroying homes and threatening an animal adoption center.
The blaze, called the 46 Fire, broke out shortly before 1 a.m., according to Cal Fire. The flames may have been sparked by a vehicle that caught fire after a police chase nearby, KTLA reported.
The blaze moved from Jurupa Valley, across the Santa Ana River and eastward into the city of Riverside, destroying at least three homes and two outbuildings along the way.
Cal Fire said the flames had covered about 300 acres and were 15% contained as of 1 p.m. As many as 1,200 homes were threatened and 3,600 residents were placed under mandatory evacuation orders, which remained in place into the afternoon, Cal Fire said.
The flames were also threatening a pet adoption center, where volunteers scrambled to put animals in cages and make sure they could be moved to a safe location if necessary, KTLA reported. Firefighters successfully kept the blaze away from the shelter, however, which thanked crews on Facebook for their tireless work.
Evacuations were ordered for residents living within the following boundaries:
- South of Limonite Avenue
- West of Crestmore Road
- East of Van Buren Boulevard
- North of the Santa Ana Riverbottom
As officials began to lift some evacuations, Cal Fire posted a searchable map:
Others remained gathered in an evacuation shelter at Patriot High School.
The only injury reported as of 10 a.m. was a person taken to the hospital with minor injuries; Cal Fire did not share further details.
Much of Southern California remained under a Red Flag warning Thursday, and fires burned across the region, including in Chula Vista, Simi Valley and San Bernardino. Thousands of San Diego County residents were also without power as a fire danger precaution.