Highway Fire near Corona, California

Map of Highway Fire 1130 pm 4-18-2014

The red squares indicate the location of heat detected by a satellite on the Highway Fire at about 11:30 p.m. April 18, 2015. The locations shown are accurate to within a mile.

(UPDATED at 1:17 p.m. PDT, April 20, 2015)

Riverside County Fire announced this morning that the Highway Fire northwest of Corona, California was holding at 1,020 acres and the Incident Commander is calling it 35% contained. All evacuations and road closures have been lifted.

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(UPDATED at 7:50 a.m. PDT, April 20, 2015)

Riverside County Fire announced Sunday evening that the fire had burned 1,020 acres. The cause was identified as an unattended cooking fire.

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(UPDATED at 2:13 PDT, April 19, 2015)

Riverside County Fire issued information at 11:15 this morning saying the fire has been mapped at 980 acres.

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(Originally published at 8:07 a.m. PDT, April 19, 2015) 

The Highway Fire has burned hundreds of acres in the Prado Basin just northwest of Corona, California. CAL FIRE spokesperson Mike Mohler said the fire is in thick vegetation that has not burned in decades. Approximately 700 personnel are assigned. The fire was first reported at 6:12 p.m. on Saturday.

There are no reports of injuries to firefightes or damage to structures.

All mandatory evacuations have been lifted, including residents of 300 homes on Bluff Road, Homestead Road and Stagecoach Road.

The last official size of the fire provided by Riverside County Fire was 300 acres at midnight Sunday morning, but it may be significantly larger.

Highway Fire

Highway Fire, April 18, 2015. Photo by Crystal Rios.

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California firefighter dies during training

Inmate Firefighter Raymond Araujo suffered a heart attack while engaged in a training exercise on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Banning, California on April 13. The 37-year old firefighter succumbed to his injury after being airlifted to a base camp where he was treated by CAL FIRE and Riverside County Fire Department medics.

The incident occurred in Hathaway Canyon on the Morongo Indian Reservation near Banning, California.

Our sincere condolences go out to his family.

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Potwisha fire in Sequoia Kings Canyon burns 20 acres

Potwisha Fire

Potwisha Fire. NPS photo.

A fire that started Saturday near Potwisha Grade on California Highway 198 in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park in California was knocked down after it burned 20 acres.

By the end of the day evacuations were lifted that affected Buckeye and Potwisha Campgrounds, the Potwisha Overflow parking lot, and the Hospital Rock Day Use Areas.

Firefighters on the ground were assisted by two air tankers, T-44 (a P2V) and T-72 (an S2T). The drop by T-44 is one of the first times a federal air tanker has been used this year

Potwisha Fire

Potwisha Fire. NPS photo.

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Escaped prescribed fire in California required evacuations

A prescribed fire near Victorville, California escaped on March 31 causing mandatory evacuations in the southern California desert community. Two helicopters assisted firefighters in stopping the 185-acre blaze as it burned through heavy vegetation that had not burned in years.

The project in Mojave Narrows Regional Park was designed to remove cattails, but firefighters said shifting winds caused it to grow out of control Tuesday afternoon.

A car and an outbuilding burned in the fire. The evacuations were lifted after several hours.

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Some fire agencies in California gearing up for wildfire season earlier than usual

S2T

CAL FIRE S2Ts at McClellan AFB March 17, 2014. Photo by Bill Gabbert.

An article in the Press-Enterprise quoted some fire officials about their concern that the California drought may reduce the number of dipping sites available for helicopters seeking water to drop on wildfires. They also indicated that some agencies are bringing on their firefighting resources earlier than usual:

…Cal Fire positioned firefighting airplanes at Hemet-Ryan Airport and Ramona Airport east of Escondido last week, about three weeks ahead of schedule, Mohler said.

The Cleveland National Forest will increase its daily staffing April 7, Nobles said, about a month ahead of schedule. Each of the three ranger districts will go from one fire engine to a minimum of four that are available day and night. Part-time firefighters are being brought in early.

When seasonal firefighters arrive May 10, a total of 28 fire engines will be available in the forest that extends south to San Diego.

Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Barbara.

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