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As temperatures soar to 109, at least 7 blazes sprout in Riverside, San Bernardino counties

By in Press Enterprise on August 31, 2017

By Staff report

As Inland valley temperatures reached a high of 109 degrees on Wednesday, firefighters were kept busy with small fires throughout the region – from one in Rancho Cucamonga that put up smoke along the 15 Freeway to a Valle Vista-area fire that closed Highway 74 to a Fontana fire that threatened homes and businesses.

The fires were sparked as the Inland region faces an excessive heat warning through Saturday. The warning means temperatures are expected to hit highs of between 103 and 111 and that heat illnesses are likely.

During such a warning, authorities advise residents to stay out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and to check on elderly relatives and neighbors.

At least seven fires broke out Wednesday. Thankfully, fire stations were prepared. Just a day earlier, Cal Fire announced that it was upping staffing because of the increased fire threat from the extreme heat.

Three of the blazes that sparked Wednesday reached at least 10 acres: the Rouse fire in the San Bernardino Mountains east of Valle Vista, a Fontana fire that threatened at least one structure and a Perris fire that was sparked in a field.

The 10-to-15-acre Rouse fire sparked about noon and for a couple hours closed Highway 74 near the Cranston Ranger Station. That blaze’s forward spread was stopped about 4:30 p.m.

That wasn’t the only blaze to affect traffic: A 1-acre fire in Rancho Cucamonga shut down a lane of the northbound 15 Freeway and prompted a SigAlert near the Base Line off-ramp.

Shortly after 11:30 a.m., calls flooded 911 regarding smoke being seen in the area, according to California Highway Patrol officials.

Traffic resumed shortly after 1 p.m. and the SigAlert was deactivated shortly thereafter, according to officials.

In Fontana, the Jurupa fire began burning just before 5 p.m. […]    

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