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Fire crews battle small, wind-driven brush fire in Riverside -- Updated


About 100 firefighters were battling a small brush fire in Riverside on Tuesday afternoon that was being fanned by warm, easterly winds.

The blaze had burned about 10 acres by 3 p.m. and was consuming thick brush in the Santa Ana River bottom about a mile west of Mt. Rubidoux, officials said.

Fire crews were making some headway but were busy chasing down small spot fires outside the main burn area. The spot fires were being stoked by 15 mph to 20 mph winds, said Battalion Chief Mitchell Wesche of the Riverside Fire Department.

Two water-dropping helicopters, four hand crews and 25 fire engines have responded to the blaze.

"We're going to be here at least a couple of days," Wesche said.

Officials said record or near-record temperatures and warm north to northeasterly winds were expected Tuesday, increasing the potential for brush fires.

-- Robert J. Lopez

Photo: A helicopter makes a water drop on burned palm trees as they continue to smolder near the Santa Ana River next to Martha Mclean Anza Narrows Park. Credit: Bob Chamberlin/Los Angeles Times

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