A brush fire triggered by mowing equipment blackened more than 900 acres as of early Friday, south of a residential area in Home Gardens between Corona and Riverside.
The blaze was moving south to southwest towards Cajalco Road in light grass on hills between the Corona (15) Freeway and Lake Mathews.
Large flames were visible late Thursday in brush-filled drainages where firefighters were setting fires to deny fuel to the main fire, CalFire- Riverside County Capt. Phil Rawlings told City News Service.
Earlier Thursday, the fire moved dangerously close to homes but did not cause any structural damage.
The fire was considered 50 percent contained at an estimated 913 acres, with full containment expected by Friday evening, Rawlings said. About 300 firefighters were assigned to the fire as of 10:30 p.m. Thursday and that number was decreasing today as units were released to cover other areas.
Of concern for residents and fire agencies elsewhere in the Southland, a red flag warning for explosive fire growth potential was issued for noon to 8 p.m. today in parts of Riverside and San Diego counties.
There was no immediate threat to homes or infrastructure, Rawlings said. One firefighter sustained a minor ankle injury, Rawlings said.
The blaze was reported shortly before 1 p.m. Thursday along a hillside off September Way, where a tractor hauling a mower trailer struck a rock and sparked the fire, Rawlings said.
Four air tankers were called in to drop fire retardant, as well three water-dropping helicopters. Some hillside residents watched anxiously as aircraft dropped loads of water and retardant that landed as close as their backyards.
Riverside County fire crews, along with personnel from the Riverside and Corona fire departments, tried to stall the blaze, which approached several large homes along Skyridge Drive.