500-Acre Anza Fire Leaves 3 Firefighters and Civilian Injured; Residents Shelter in Place

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Three firefighters were injured while fighting a wildfire east of Anza that grew to 500 acres in four hours on Monday afternoon, prompting road closures and temporary evacuations.

A DC-10 jet drops retardant on the Anza Fire on Aug. 10, 2015. (Credit: Eddie Luna / KMIR)

A DC-10 jet drops retardant on the Anza Fire on Aug. 10, 2015. (Credit: Eddie Luna / KMIR)

A civilian also suffered first- and third-degree burns to 3 percent of his or her body and was hospitalized, according to the Riverside County Fire Department’s incident page.

Reports of a motor home fire that spread to nearby vegetation in the area of Highway 74 and Highway 371 (map) first came in about 11:45 a.m.

About an hour later, the civilian was reported hospitalized in connections with a vehicle fire in the area, but it was not clear if that blaze was the same as the motor home fire.

The vehicle fire was determined to have caused the brush fire, dubbed the Anza Fire, the Fire Department stated.

Firefighters were first called to the Anza Fire about noon on Aug. 10, 2015. (Credit: Ed Sherman via Riverside County Fire Department)

Firefighters were first called to the Anza Fire about noon on Aug. 10, 2015. (Credit: Ed Sherman via Riverside County Fire Department)

By 10 p.m., the blaze was at 500 acres and was 10 percent contained. Hours earlier, the Fire Department tweeted that the blaze could grow in heavy fuels to more than 1,000 acres.

But by late evening, the forward rate of the fire’s spread had been stopped, the Fire Department stated.

The three hurt firefighters had minor injuries and were take by ground ambulance to area hospitals. The nature of the firefighters’ injuries was not clear.

About 350 firefighters were on scene, according to Riverside County’s incident page. Photos showed a DC-10 jet dropping retardant on the blaze. Firefighters with the San Bernardino National Forest were also responding.

Homes east of Paradise Valley Cafe were under evacuation orders, including residences on Hialeah Way, Pimlico Drive, Arlington Road, Paradise Drive, Church Hill Downs, and Wood Bine Road.

Fire officials later stated that all evacuees were now sheltering in place.

State Route 74 was closed from the Palm Desert city limits west to State Route 371. The California Highway Patrol stated on its incident log that the closure was expected to last through Tuesday morning.

The Anza Fire is about 12 southeast of Mountain Center, where the July 2013 Mountain Fire began before burning 43 square miles.

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