400-acre Flats Fire in Riverside County 30% contained; evacuations lifted for Pinyon Crest


Evacuation orders issued for Pinyon Crest over the weekend after a brush fire broke out in Riverside County have been lifted as fire officials gained 30% containment, officials said Monday.

The blaze, named the Flats Fire, was reported at 11:15 a.m. Sunday in the Santa Rosa Mountains near the communities of Pinyon Crest, Pinyon and Alpine Village, officials from the San Bernardino National Forest reported.

While firefighters stopped the forward rate of spread, they are still battling high heat, windy and rocky terrain.

One firefighter was injured and two homes were destroyed by the Flats Fire on Sunday, officials said. Six other structures were also damaged.

The evacuation orders for Pinyon Crest have been downgraded to an evacuation warning. Pinyon Pines and Alpine Village still remain under evacuations warnings, officials said Monday.

Highway 74 remains closed between the Cahuilla Tewanet Vista Point (Palm Desert side) and Palm Canyon Drive (Idyllwild side). One lane within the closure will be open by pilot car to local residents, officials said, but wait times could be 30 minutes or more.
The Cactus Spring Trail and Pinyon and Ribbonwood campgrounds are closed due to the fire.

More than 400 firefighters responded to the fire, including personnel from CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department and the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

An evacuation center was set up at Idyllwild School located at 26700 Highway 243.

Small animals can be taken to the Coachella Valley Animal Campus located at 72050 Petland Place in Thousand Palms. Big and small animals can be taken to the Animal Services facility in San Jacinto located at 581 S. Grand Ave.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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