Firefighters were trying to extinguish a brush fire in the Santa Ana River in Riverside that threatened the homeless population there on Wednesday, Oct 28.
The fire was reported just before 2:30 p.m. near Old Ranch Road and Rubidoux Avenue.
The fire was at least 58% contained and had burned 30 acres as of 6:15 p.m., Riverside city fire Battalion Chief Jennifer McDowell said. Some homeless people had been evacuated, but no injuries were reported.
The city sent an emergency alert over smartphones: “Move to the high ground now. An evacuation order is now in place for the river bottom area.”
A Riverside police helicopter crew used its loudspeaker to warn people in the river.
Two helicopters from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department assisted. There were 25 fire engines on the scene, including some from Cal Fire and San Bernardino County.
No structures were being threatened as of early evening, but crews were expected to be on the scene throughout the night. The cause of the fire was not announced.