Brush Fire Closes The 71 Freeway

By Anthony Saude

Chino Hills – A brush fire that started by a car fire was burning in thick brush in the hills south of Chino on Tuesday, June 12 but had not forced any evacuations, officials said.

The flames grew until they had devoured 120 acres after breaking out near Highway 71, south of Euclid Avenue, around 2:20 p.m. on Tuesday June 11. The rush hour commuters on the way home for the evening were met with a traffic nightmare. The blaze is being dubbed the Euclid Fire.

The blaze was only about 15 percent contained by 10:30 p.m… The efforts by the fire department played no small part in the fact that it had not yet presented a threat to any structures.

Smoke from the fire was still presenting a problem for residents, and it had spread as far as Perris, fire officials said.

The 71 Freeway was shut down for a time for safety purposes, but it was later reopened.

The incident began when a car caught on fire an area susceptible to dry brush that could have sparked the blaze, but authorities had not confirmed what led to the fire.

120 firefighters were at the scene called on from several agencies, including the Corona, Riverside, Ontario fire departments and Chino Valley Fire District. They fought the fire with a ferocity that is only reserved for the most courageous of men. One crew member was being evaluated for an injury that was not life-threatening, Cal Fire said, without providing further details.

At one point during the event the flames were attacked using a team of helicopters.

Fire officials did not say in which direction the blaze was spreading. No further details were immediately available.