CHERRY VALLEY (CBSLA) — A large brush fire blackened approximately 700 acres and threatened homes Friday in Cherry Valley, prompting the evacuation of nearly 1,000 residents.
The first evacuations, ordered by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, mandated residents of Avenida Mira Villa to evacuate, while those living on Oak Glen Road near Bogart Park were asked to voluntarily leave their homes.
Half an hour later, the Riverside County Emergency Management Department issued an expanded evacuation order for the Cherry Valley area north of Dutton, east of Oak Glen Road and south of the county line — originally reported as south of County Line Road.
Shortly before 9 p.m., evacuation orders were expanded to north of Gilman Street in the Banning Bluff area.
The fires were initially reported shortly before 5 p.m. in the area of Apple Tree Lane and Oak Glen Road, on the north end of the unincorporated community that borders Beaumont, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Thirty engine crews and 10 hand crews, numbering well over 200 personnel, were sent to the location and encountered the three blazes that were said to be converging in an area with heavy vegetation.
Four Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were called to begin making drops as the fire raged.
At the request of the fire department, Southern California Edison cut off power along Glen Oak Road and surrounding side streets to prevent potential additional fires from breaking out as burned power poles collapsed, dropping power lines.
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