400-acre Flats Fire in San Bernardino National Forest now 60% contained; all evacuation warnings lifted

Wildfires
The 400-acre Flats Fire burning in Riverside County was 60% contained as of Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (San Bernardino National Forest)

The 400-acre Flats Fire burning in Riverside County was 60% contained as of Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (San Bernardino National Forest)

All evacuation orders and warnings issued for the Pinyon Pines area of the San Bernardino National Forest were lifted Tuesday as crews gained 60% containment on the 400-acre blaze burning in Riverside County.

The blaze, dubbed the Flats Fire, erupted just after 11 a.m. Sunday in the Santa Rosa Mountains off Highway 74 near the communities of Pinyon Crest, Pinyon and Alpine Village, officials from the San Bernardino National Forest reported.

The fire prompted the closure of Highway 74 between the Cahuilla Tewanet Vista Point (Palm Desert side) and Palm Canyon Drive (Idyllwild side) on Sunday and has since burned at least two homes and damaged three others. Three other structures were also damaged.

On Monday afternoon, fire officials reopened the highway and lifted all evacuation warnings for the area as firefighters continued to battle the blaze amid sweltering temperatures as the first major heatwave of the season hit the Southland.

However, officials warned that properties within the burn area may be unsafe and advised residents to check with fire personnel about conditions.

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