Hundreds of Acres Burn Near Calif. Cities

Smoke and flames could be seen for dozens of miles.

By Samantha Tata and Alex Calder
|  Friday, Mar 1, 2013  |  Updated 8:32 AM CDT
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Riverside resident Jennifer Heath didn't try to conceal her feelings about the latest brush fire to threaten her home.

Janet Kwak and David Gregory

Riverside resident Jennifer Heath didn't try to conceal her feelings about the latest brush fire to threaten her home. "I'm scared to death," she said Thursday evening, as flames continued to flare up. Janet Kwak reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Feb. 28, 2013.

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Light winds and cool temperatures allowed firefighters in southern California to make progress on a wildfire that caused power outages and prompted evacuations Thursday near Riverside.

By 4 a.m., the Jurupa Wildfire burned about 200 acres and containment was at 30 percent.

Power was restored early Friday to Riverside residents, some of whom watched as flames neared their homes. Wind gusts tossed embers over a wide area Friday evening, sparking small brush fires.

"It was way too close," said homeowner Matt Kolstad.

The vegetation fire was reported about 4:43 p.m. near Rio Road and Calle Hermosa in Jurupa Valley, at the south end of Santa Ana River Regional Park (map). The fire grew from 10 acres to 50 acres by 5:45 p.m., according to the Riverside County Fire Department's online incident report. The fire scorched between 50 and 75 acres by 6:50 p.m.; and grew to consume 150 acres by 8:45 p.m.

Angelenos in Griffith Park reported seeing smoke, 50 miles west of the fire. And while flying in the San Fernando Valley, NBCLA's NewsChopper 4 spotted plumes about 60 miles away from the blaze.

Firefighters used deliberately set blazes, known as backfires, to help control the fire. The tactic is meant to burn possible fuel in the fire's path.

No injuries were reported and it was not immediately known if any structures were damaged.

More: Resident Near Riverside Fire: "I'm Scared to Death"

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