Cal Fire reports several vegetation fires popping up as thunderstorms rolled through the area above Palm Desert, Thursday afternoon.
One fire is burning at Burnt Valley Road and highway 371 in Anza. So far, one-quarter acre has burned, but heavy fuel is helping the fire spread quickly.
Another is burning west of Red Mountain Road in Sage. There, 75 acres have burned so far.
Both fires were spotted by an air tanker on its way to San Diego County.
Firefighters say they are responding to several fires in the Anza area believed to be caused by lightning strikes.
A fire apparently triggered by lightning erupted this afternoon in a Lake Elsinore neighborhood, burning two homes and prompting evacuations.
The blaze was reported around 3:20 p.m. at 11th Street and Honey Lane, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Deputies arrived to find two homes aflame, one of them occupied by an elderly woman who was unable to escape under her own power, authorities said.
A deputy dashed into the residence and carried the woman to safety, burning his arm in the process, according to sheriff’s officials.
The blaze quickly spread to the south and northeast, threatening other residences and prompting deputies to initiate evacuations.
Fire crews were working late this afternoon to contain the fire, the dimensions of which were not immediately confirmed.
A cluster of fires broke out this afternoon in southwest Riverside County as thunderstorms pounded the area, producing multiple lightning strikes.