Firefighters get control of brush fire by 215 Freeway

Firefighters work to contain a brush fire alongside the 215 Freeway near Scott Road on the Menifee/Murrieta border. Photos courtesy of Jo...

Firefighters work to contain a brush fire alongside the 215 Freeway near Scott Road on the Menifee/Murrieta border.
Photos courtesy of Jonathan Ingram

Firefighters appeared to be gaining control of a brush fire alongside the southbound lanes of the 215 Freeway near the Menifee-Murrieta border early Sunday night.

The fire was reported at 3:55 p.m. on the west side of the freeway south of Scott Road, across from Loma Linda Hospital and near the start of a popular trail for hikers and bikers at Scenic View Drive and Keller Road, according to fire officials. Engine crews responded quickly and a helicopter made several water drops, picking up water from Menifee Lakes. In all, an estimated 90 firefighters from Murrieta Fire and Rescue and the Riverside County Fire Department were on scene.

Traffic slowed in both directions on the freeway and at one point the southbound freeway traffic was reduced to one lane as firefighters battled flames at the freeway's edge. By 7 p.m., the Riverside County Fire Department reported that the fire had covered 9.5 acres and was 30 percent contained. Aircraft had been released. There was no report of structures affected in the hillside area and only one reported injury -- a firefighter who was transported with a non-life threatening injury.

Murrieta Mayor Jonathan Ingram issued a statement saying hand crews would be working on a containment line / perimeter while fuels within that perimeter are burned. Crews will be on scene well into the evening hours, monitoring for hot spots and any increased fire activity, he said.

No information on the possible cause of the fire has been released.

Flames are seen on the west side of the 215 Freeway in this shot taken from Antelope Road on the east side.




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