Firefighters battled a brush fire that grew to 8 acres on Thursday afternoon, destroying at least one home and prompting the evacuation of about 25 other houses in Jurupa Valley, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The blaze, which was dubbed the Van Buren Fire, burned off Van Buren Boulevard near 60th Street (map). It was fully contained at about 4:30 p.m., nearly five hours after it was first reported.
One firefighter and one civilian were treated for minor injuries, according to the Fire Department.
Aerial video from Sky5 showed a charred field and one home that appeared to be completely destroyed.
On a day where federal forecasters issued a red-flag warning and there was critical fire danger, the blaze was carried quickly by winds across the dry field to the rear yards of homes.
“It was far away. … I didn’t think it was going to reach us, and then, in a couple of seconds, it was right at our door,” said Areli Hernandez. “I just … ran out.”
Hernadez’s house was destroyed, and the family saw its dog run back into the family home. They feared the animal had died, but a firefighter later found the pet, “Oso,” scared but unharmed.
Four other homes were damaged, according to an update on the Fire Department’s incident page, which estimated the loss at $350,000.
At one point, 25 homes were ordered evacuated on Hudson Street between Main Street and Limonite Avenue.
The fire was estimated to be 8 acres in a 12:45 p.m. update.
Several pets that were rescued from homes during the fire were reunited with their owners at nearby Pedley Elementary School.
Riverside County Office of Emergency Services personnel were conducting a damage assessment.
— RivCO animalSERVICES (@helpinRIVcoPETS) April 16, 2015