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Winds hamper battle against Jurupa Valley lumber yard fire that closed Van Buren Boulevard

By in Press Enterprise on October 24, 2017

By Beatriz E. Valenzuela

Winds were hampering firefighters battling a 5-acre lumber yard in Jurupa Valley that has shut down a major Jurupa Valley thoroughfare and prompted the evacuation of animals from the county animal shelter, officials say.

“Right now the fire is contained to the facility to two large piles of compost,” said April Newman, spokeswoman for the fire department.

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

The cause was unclear.

Van Buren was shut down between Jurupa Avenue and Clay.

Power lines were down, Cal Fire authorities say, which has prompted the Riverside County Department of Animal Services to close.

A Cal Fire release said that Animal Services has evacuated its exterior animals to a secondary site.

Firefighters were battling the blaze in particularly tough conditions: not only has the National Weather Service declared a red-flag warning, but an excessive heat warning and a wind advisory, as well.

By 10 a.m., the temperature in Jurupa Valley had already reached 90 degrees – but was expected to reach a high of 99. And firefighters were battling winds of about 25 to 30 mph – with gusts that could reach 45 mph, according to the weather service.

The fire was originally reported at a compost facility, but it was actually at a lumber yard involving “heavy compost and sawed-up wood,” officials said.

On scene at he Clay fire in Riverside pic.twitter.com/2u00pbXwU2

— Stan Lim (@stanlimphoto) October 24, 2017

The winds are a big concern for firefighters, Spelman said. pic.twitter.com/eEBsp1fVlk

— Beatriz Valenzuela (@BeatrizVNews) October 24, 2017

Authorities also reported that power lines were down.

Several fire […]    

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