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Fire crews make headway battling Riverside brush fire

November 2, 2010 |  8:44 pm

Riverside firefighters appeared to be gaining the upper hand Tuesday night in their battle against a brush fire that had scorched 100 acres of thick vegetation.

The brush fire along the Santa Ana River bottom was 40% contained, officials said.

About 100 firefighters were taking advantage of lower temperatures, rising humidity and a drop in the winds, which earlier in the day were gusting up to 20 mph.

"We're getting prepared to hit it hard all night long," said Battalion Chief Mitchell Wesche of the Riverside Fire Department.

He said two firefighters suffered injuries. One had chest pains and was taken to a hospital. His condition was unknown. The other was treated at the scene for heat exhaustion.

About a dozen residents in seven homes were evacuated earlier in the day but have been allowed to return.

Fire officials are bracing for warmer weather and dry winds Wednesday.

--Robert J. Lopez