156-Acre Chino Hills Blaze Caused by ‘Large Bird’ That Caught Fire on Power Line

A "large bird" that made contact with a power line caught fire, fell on dry grass and ignited a blaze that scorched 156 acres in Chino Hills and burned a two-story home, authorities said on Monday.

The blaze, dubbed the Star Fire, erupted on steep terrain near Falling Star Lane and Chino Hills Parkway around 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

The Chino Valley Independent Fire District first reported a 50-acre vegetation fire, but it quickly grew and caused substantial damages to a multimillion-dollar home in the 2000 block of Miramonte Court, the agency said.

The fire had burned more than 150 acres by Saturday night and threatened hundreds of homes at its height, Fire District spokeswoman Massiel De Guevara said.

Toni Forrest, who lives at the residence that burned in the blaze, said she told her daughter to call 911 when she smelled smoke and realized there was a fire. Firefighters had not yet responded to the scene, she said.

Crews apparently ran out of water while they were battling the flames, Forrest said.

Guevara said the water pressured dropped for a "brief moment" and the Fire District immediately contacted utility officials, who managed to up the water pressure to 100% "fairly quickly."

With some 185 firefighters battling the blaze, crews gained an upper hand on the flames by Sunday evening, according to the Fire District. The fire was 80% contained on Monday morning.

Three firefighters sustained bee sting injuries and one of them was taken to a hospital for treatment, Guevara said. No other injuries were reported.

Guevera said several residents were using their garden hose to dampen their homes, which the Fire District doesn't encourage. She said people should evacuate when a fire is approaching.

"We had resources in place," Guevera said.

The Fire District urged people sensitive to smoke to stay indoors on Monday.

 

 

 

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