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Riverside County brush fire grows to 700 acres, 3 deputies injured

July 15, 2010 |  9:56 pm
The largest of a string of lightning-sparked brush fires in Riverside County had grown Thursday night to about 700 acres, officials said.

The wildfire was burning near Temecula and was being battled by more than 100 firefighters, the Riverside County Fire Department said.

The blaze, which was burning near Crown Valley and De Portola roads, was 15% contained, the department said.  Full containment was expected Friday morning. Flames quickly consumed dry brush after the fire broke out about 3:45 p.m.

Two sheriff's deputies suffered minor smoke inhalation and a third received a slight burn while rescuing a woman from a structure as a flames burned brush in a blaze near Lake Elsinore, according to authorities.

Another fire near Hemet had charred 350 acres as residents and animals were evacuated. An evacuation center was set up at Hemet High School, officials said. That blaze was 10% contained Thursday night.

More than a dozen fires broke out in Riverside County as powerful thunderstorms rolled across the region, the National Weather Service said.

--Robert J. Lopez