Two firefighters were injured while battling the so-called Merwin Fire in Moreno Valley, which comrades were able to get 25 percent containment on and lift evacuations Thursday morning after the blaze grew to 150 acres the previous night, Cal Fire officials said.
The firefighters sustained ankle injuries while making their way across the areas steep and rocky terrain, Cal Fire’s Josh Janssen said.
The blaze was 25 percent contained and plans to battle the blaze using aircrafts on Thursday were canceled, fire officials at the scene said.
The Merwin Fire was first reported around 8:38 p.m. Wednesday in the area of Merwin Street and Campbell Avenue, Riverside County Fire Department officials said.
People at a camping area near Lake Perris State Recreational Park were evacuated Wednesday night but the orders were lifted the following morning, Janssen said.
“We just like to advocate that they are ready if the fire changes. If this does take a turn for the worse and does come back to the homes that they get out, let us come in and do our jobs,” he said.
Although fire officials initially reported the blaze burned 175 acres, better mapping showed it was actually 150 acres.
Firefighters had gained the upper hand overnight, but officials said firefighters still faced a tough fight.
“There’s a ton of work left to do, (but) we do have the forward rate of the fire stopped,”Jannsen said.
An investigation into the cause was underway and lightning had not been ruled out, he added.