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All evacuation orders lifted for 715-acre wildfire near Mountain Center

Bonita Fire update from 12:00 p.m. (1/15/21)

Firefighters are working to contain a fast-growing wildfire burning in the mountains above the Coachella Valley Friday morning. Some evacuation orders have been lifted.

All Evacuation Orders were lifted for all areas affected by the fire.

The Bonita Fire broke out just east of Mountain Center Thursday night. The blaze grew quickly but has held at 600 acres since 5:45 a.m. According to Cal Fire, the fire was at 5% containment.

As of 6:10 p.m., the fire had grown to 715 acres. Containment also increased to 20%.

Fire crews were initially called to the 28000 block of Bonita Vista Road at 1:00 a.m. Friday. The first arriving engine company reported 15 acres of heavy vegetation and pine trees on fire.

Approximately 200 personnel were working the fire lines as flames engulfed dry pine trees and brush.

An Evacuation Center has been established at the Banning Community center at 789 N. San Gorgonio Avenue in Banning.

Cal Fire announced at 12:30 p.m. that all road closures were lifted with the exception of Highway 74 from Mountain Center to Lake Hemet. This area will be reduced to one lane with law enforcement escorts.

There were no immediate details on the fire's cause or containment.

The Red Flag warnings have been in effect, as the News Channel 3 First Alert Weather Team has been reporting. The Red Flag Warning remains in effect until 4 PM today.

MORE: Record Temperatures and Red Flag Warnings

Click Here for the Riverside County Emergency Management page with evacuation information.

Stay with KESQ News Channel 3 on-air and online for continuing updates.

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Jeff Stahl

You can watch Jeff every weekday morning on News Channel 3 in the Morning and News Channel 3 at Noon. Learn more about Jeff here.

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Madison Weil

Madison Weil joined the KESQ News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 News Team in June 2018. Learn more about Madison here.


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