BANNING: Brush fire at 80 percent containment

BANNING – A brush fire that broke out on the northeast edge of Banning and blackened roughly 545 acres as it burned toward the Morongo Indian Reservation was 80 percent contained this afternoon.

The blaze broke out shortly before 4 p.m. Monday in the 10000 block of Mias Canyon Road, near Bluff Street, when a tree branch weakened by an active beehive fell into power lines, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

A fire department spokeswoman said 30 engine crews and seven hand crews, numbering more than 250 personnel, were deployed to fight the non-injury blaze, aided by seven air tankers and three water-dropping helicopters. The flames were not threatening homes or other structures, according to the fire department.

Along with county firefighters, Morongo Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service crews were working to encircle the blaze.

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