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Evacuations lifted as crews handle Southern California fire

California Wildfire
Posted at 4:31 PM, Feb 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-06 19:31:38-05

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) — Evacuations were lifted after crews got a handle on a smoky wildfire that briefly burned near homes along a dry Southern California riverbed on Thursday.

Flames broke out in the late morning and quickly churned through more than 70 acres (28 hectares) of brush in Riverside, said Ryan Railsback with the city's police department.

Residents of about 20 homes along two blocks were ordered to leave as winds spread flames closer to a neighborhood, Railsback said. They were allowed to return a few hours later.

Crews protecting homes on the ground made progress after fire officials ordered water-dropping aircraft to assist.

The area about 55 miles east of downtown Los Angeles has received only a minuscule amount of rain so far this year.

No injuries were reported. The cause is under investigation.