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Riverside County brush fire blamed on motorized equipment

Firefighter in La Cresta

A brush fire that destroyed at least one home Wednesday in Riverside County was caused by motorized equipment used to clear brush, officials said.

Two firefighters sustained minor injuries battling the blaze, which broke out in a hilly, wooded area near Murrieta, according to officials with the Riverside County Fire Department. Paramedics took one of the firefighters to a hospital and the other was treated at the scene.

By 4:30 p.m., the blaze was holding at about 400 acres and was only 10% contained, said Fire Department spokeswoman Melody Hendrickson.

PHOTOS: Fighting the Volcano fire in Riverside County

Television news footage showed flames engulfing a large, two-story home.

There are no mandatory evacuations in effect, but the American Red Cross has opened a temporary evacuation center for those who choose to leave their homes. The center is at Murrieta Valley High School, 42200 Nighthawk Way in Murrieta.

At least 236 firefighters are battling the fire with 35 engines, six air tankers, four helicopters and three bulldozers.

Fire officials expect to have the blaze contained by 8 a.m. Thursday and under control by 6 p.m.

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-- Alexandra Zavis

Photo: A Riverside County firefighter attends to a burning home Wednesday during the Volcano brush fire. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

 
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