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Strong winds fan wildfire started by vehicle malfunction near Desert Hot Springs

By in Press Enterprise on November 15, 2017

By Staff and news service reports

A vehicle malfunction started a fire Tuesday near Desert Hot Springs that, fanned by strong winds, has burned 40 acres.

There were no containment lines around the flames by 7:15 p.m., according to the Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department.

Flames were reported at 4:11 p.m. in heavy brush east of the intersection of Palm Drive and 20th Avenue, according to fire officials. Spot fires were flaring up outside the main fire line.

The fire also spread to several Southern California Edison power poles in the area, according to the Fire Department. An SCE outage map indicated that 41 customers were affected, and all but a handful of them had their power restored by 7 p.m.

About 90 firefighters were on scene, with support from the California Highway Patrol and Desert Hot Springs Police Department.

The CHP reported that with flames potentially reaching 20th Avenue, police shut down the intersection at Bubbling Wells Road, east of the fire.

Authorities also shut down Palm Drive at Varner Road, south of the fire, to keep motorists from heading into the scene.

This story is developing. Check back for updates.

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