Pair of wildfires race through Anza fields, threaten home

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Flames erupt as the Tripp Fire blazes through the dry brush, Thursday, July 9. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

A pair of wildfires in Anza were quickly contained by firefighters Thursday, July 9.

The first brusher, known as the Tripp Fire, erupted north of Highway 371 in the area of Cary and Tripp Flats roads in Anza and was reported at 12:50 p.m., charring roughly 30 acres and threatening at least one home before crews got the upper hand with the help of Cal Fire aircraft that were called to the scene.

More than 30 engine crews and six hand crews, numbering over 100 personnel, encountered flames moving east at a moderate rate in high grass within 2 miles of Cahuilla Casino, Riverside County Fire Department said.

An air tanker spews Phos-Chek fire retardant into the inferno just behind the hill during the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
An air tanker creates a line to stop the forward advancement of the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Smoke can be seen billowing up from the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

According to reports from the scene, a house along Cary Road was in the path of the flames, but firefighters were able to establish a fire break around the home, sparing the property from any damage.

Four Cal Fire air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter made runs on the blaze, suppressing the head of it until the forward rate of spread was stopped about 2:25 p.m. Firefighters made steady progress controlling the blaze and had it fully contained at 3 p.m.

Access to Cary Road was closed by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department for public safety as deputies were standing by for possible evacuations, which ultimately were not necessary.

Shortly after the Tripp Fire was contained, a second fire broke out near Ayers Way and Howard Road, just north of Highway 371, at 3:20 p.m.

Air tankers attack the flames as ground crews work close to the blaze during the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
Helicopters draw water from the hot spring on the Cahuilla Reservation to assist in dousing the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
The hot spring on the Cahuilla Reservation provides a close water source for the helicopters battling the Tripp Fire. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

According to the Riverside County Fire Department, more than 50 personnel were sent to the location and quickly established containment lines between the highway and one of the roads.

A Cal Fire air tanker was called in to make runs on the blaze and departed after a few minutes. The fire was encircled by 4 p.m., and no other homes or structures were threatened.

The blaze was close enough to the Trip Fire that many of the resources from that fire were transferred over to the one at Ayers.

The unnamed fire charred 2 acres before it was contained.

The cause of the two fires is under investigation.

City News Service contributed to this story.

Kim Harris can be reached by email at anzaeditor@reedermedia.com.