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Portion of Van Buren Boulevard still closed after all-night firefight at Jurupa Valley yard

By in Press Enterprise on October 25, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

The northbound lanes of heavily traveled Van Buren Boulevard in Jurupa Valley remained closed Wednesday morning due to a fire that burned through the night at a compost yard, CalFire/Riverside County Fire officials said.

The 4-acre blaze, called the Clay Fire, was 45 percent contained, as of Wednesday morning, and crews were still on scene to battle the stubborn fire.

The fire was reported just after 7 a.m. at a facility near Van Buren Boulevard and Clay Street between an In-N-Out Burger and the Santa Ana River, officials said.

Authorities were expected to re-evaluate whether to reopen Van Buren about noon.

It knocked out power to the area, including the Riverside County Department of Animal Services shelter across the street, forcing the facility to shut down Tuesday. Though power was restored Wednesday morning, it wasn’t immediately clear if the shelter would be open to the public.

  • Related: Winds hamper firefighters battling Clay fire at compost facility in Jurupa Valley

About 165 firefighters, 25 fire engines and two water-dropping helicopters battled the blaze Tuesday in particularly tough conditions: not only had the National Weather Service declared a red-flag warning, but an excessive heat warning and a wind advisory, as well.

Although the temperature was expected to drop Wednesday, there are still red flag and excessive heat warnings in effect.

Several fire hand crews – including inmate crews – had been working in the Santa Ana River basin near where the blaze began.

The cause was unclear.

The city, in conjunction with Cal Fire, is investigating whether the facility had any code violations, according to Jurupa Valley spokesperson Terri Rollings.


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