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Riverside County firefighters busy today

August 28, 2009 |  4:52 pm

Firefighters in Riverside County have battled two fires today.

The Wildland fire was first reported at 11:35 a.m. at Knabe Road and Gardenia Drive in northern Riverside County. It burned about 10 acres before Riverside County firefighters brought it under control about 1:15 p.m., said spokeswoman Jody Hagemann. No structures were destroyed and no one was injured, Hagemann said.

Meanwhile, the Cottonwood fire, which started Thursday, had burned 1,200 acres in the San Bernardino National Forest near Idyllwild and was still only 5% contained this afternoon, according to Norma Bailey, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman. The fire had spread west in the Bee Canyon area, which last burned in 1996, Bailey said. About 320 fire personnel, 20 engines and five air tankers were battling the fire across steep, rocky terrain, with temperatures above 106 degrees, Bailey said.

No homes have been threatened by the Cottonwood fire, but a mandatory evacuation order remained in effect for about 30 homes on Willowbrook Road in Valle Vista, near the forest’s edge. Route 74 is closed between Valle Vista and Mountain Center, Bailey said.

Bailey said fire officials have called a community meeting at 6 p.m. at Idyllwild Elementary School, 26700 Highway 243.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske