Firefighters Battle Large Brush Fire Near Airport in Coachella Valley

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Firefighters battled a brush fire that started late Saturday night and grew to consume at least 130 acres near an airport in the unincorporated Thermal area of the Coachella Valley, Cal Fire Riverside said.

Flames broke out just before 11 p.m. in the area of Airport Boulevard and Shady Lane, Cal Fire Riverside Battalion Chief Joe Taylor said.

When firefighters responded, the fire was still covering almost 3 acres with strong winds fanning the flames and blowing embers onto the thick vegetation and across the roadway, according to Taylor.

The strong winds resulted in several different spot fires in the area, and quickly grew, threatening a nearby horse park as the winds pushed the fire northeast, fire officials said.

Flames eventually jumped Airport Boulevard and started several different spot fires near an airport's main entrance, burning as much as 20 acres, Taylor said.

Winds later pushed embers onto the middle of a runway and started a fire that burned about 7 acres as of 4 a.m., authorities said.

A map showed that the Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport is in the area where the fire was reported.

By 1:45 a.m. Sunday, the fire was 0% contained, Cal Fire Riverside said in an online update.

Fire officials said the the airport did not sustain any damage.

No evacuations were requested and no injuries were reported.

A car parked in a county parking lot sustained some damage, Taylor said.

The airport was expected to remain closed for about 24 hours.

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