Wildfire in Anza displaces 8 people

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The Indian Fire explodes in dry brush Friday, June 26, scorching almost 60 acres. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Three mobile homes and 59 acres were damaged by wildfire on a hillside just north of Highway 371 in Anza that threatened the Cahuilla Indian Reservation, county authorities said.

The non-injury Indian Fire was reported at 3:25 p.m. Friday, June 26, near Indian Road and Deer Mountain Way, officials with the Riverside County Fire Department said.

It was contained at 8:46 p.m. Saturday, June 27.

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A smoke column quickly develops as the Indian Fire ravages almost 60 acres Friday, June 26. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo
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Smoke from the Indian Fire can be seen from Alessandro Road in Anza. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo

Six adults and two children were displaced and are being assisted by the American Red Cross.

Staff at the nearby Cahuilla Indian Casino were the first to spot the flames and call 911.

Fire officials said 26 engine crews and nine hand crews – more than 250 personnel – fought the flames, which were burning at a moderate rate to the north, approaching power lines and a ranch.

Because the fire was burning on a slope with no access for vehicles, five Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were summoned to make runs on the fire, officials said.

They established retardant lines that prevented the fire from jumping a dirt road; however, propelled by a strong desert breeze, the fire picked up speed and headed in the direction of homes on the edge of the reservation before it was contained.

The cause is under investigation.

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Flames can be seen in this image of the Indian Fire as it scorches through the brush. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
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Smoke from the Indian Fire blocks the sun as the column is seen from the Cahuilla Reservation. Anza Valley Outlook/Courtesy photo
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The Indian Fire explodes in dry brush Friday, June 26, scorching almost 60 acres. Anza Valley Outlook/Diane Sieker photo