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Santa Ana River bottom fire breaks out in Riverside, again

By in Press Enterprise on December 27, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

For the second time in about a week, firefighters were called to put out a fire that ignited in the Riverside river bottom, officials said.

Crews from the Riverside City and Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire departments were able to contain the fire that broke out just before 5 p.m. Tuesday in the Santa Ana River bottom near Van Buren Boulevard on the other side of the water treatment plant, according to a Riverside City Fire Department news release.

“Firefighters were unable to make access across the river channel due to the speed of the water, poor lighting and terrain,” the statement said. A Riverside police helicopter was able to help temporarily with lighting until it was called away for a police matter, according to officials.

  • RELATED: Could a river bottom fire consume downtown Riverside?

As city firefighters kept the blaze in check, authorities said Cal Fire/Riverside County crews made their way through the river bottom.

After an hour and a half, firefighters were able to make it to the fire and after an additional two and a half hours, crews had the fire under control, officials said.

Fire authorities noted the fire ignited near a homeless encampment, however the cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Tuesday evening’s fire come only days after another blaze broke out and scorched 50 acres in the same river bottom.

On Dec. 21, strong winds helped drive the fire that first erupted near Indian Hill Road and the Santa Ana River bike trail leading to evacuations and road closures, including Mission Inn Avenue into Jurupa Valley.

Fire in the Santa Ana riverbed

— PE Photo (@PE_Photo) December 21, 2017

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a residential no-burn alert for Orange County and non-desert portions of Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties […]    

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