2 Southern Calif. fires continue to threaten homes
by AP News Now
September 24, 2012 12:00 PM | 595 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) — Firefighters Monday hoped to corral two Southern California wildfires threatening more than 200 homes before hot, windy weather could push them back into furious life.

In Riverside County, a 150-acre blaze moved very little overnight and had mainly been reduced to embers and hotspots by Monday morning. It was about 40 percent contained, but as many as 200 homes were still in its path in rocky, brushy terrain that hadn’t burned in decades, Murrieta fire Capt. Matt Shobert said.

"The threat has subsided a bit but certainly the threat is still there," he said.

There are no evacuations in place for Riverside County.

The fire erupted near a park Sunday afternoon threatened and burned a recreational vehicle and a barn.

Farther south, a fire that started near the Campo Indian Reservation destroyed four homes and continued to threaten 80 more in a rural part of San Diego County.

The fire had little movement Sunday night and crews hoped to get a handle on it before predicted winds of 20 to 25 mph picked up Monday afternoon.

"Our big concern is the winds. We still have a lot of open fire line," said California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Mike Mohler.

The 1,700-acre blaze was 10 percent contained.

Mohler said the fire destroyed several outbuildings and was moving to open country farther east.

An evacuation center was set up at a high school in the nearby community of Pine Valley. Many residents gath-ered at the Golden Acorn Casino, which also served as the command post for firefighters, to learn whether their homes were still standing.

Christopher Kirchner told U-T San Diego that the place he rents was about 200 feet from a residence that burned down. He worried that his home might have burned, too.

"I was just talking to some of my neighbors," Kirchner said. "They were crying and saying they had no place to go. We’ve heard rumors that our place is still standing, but nobody will tell us anything."

More than 300 firefighters were battling the blaze.

The cause of both fires was under investigation.

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