Brush fire burns 900 acres south of Beaumont; nearly a dozen homes issued evacuation warning

A brush fire erupted in the Beaumont area early Sunday and has burned about 900 acres, prompting a road closure and an evacuation warning for some Riverside County residents.

The warning triggered by the Sanderson Fire applied to fewer than a dozen homes north of Gilman Springs and south of Timothy Lane, Cal Fire Riverside’s incident page said. That includes the following streets: Jerry Street, Mc Gehee Drive, Alberta Lane, Laurene Lane, Lisa Lane and Kevin Road.

Gilman Springs Road was also closed between Alessandro Boulevard and Bridge Street. The California Highway Patrol urged motorists to take a detour on state routes 79 and 60.

Crews responded to the area of La Borde Canyon Road and Jack Rabbit Trail, south of Beaumont, after receiving reports of a wildland fire at around 1 a.m. It had burned about 300 acres by 7:45 a.m. before exploding to 900 acres before 10 a.m.

Video tweeted by Cal Fire shows a helicopter dropping retardant over clouds of smoke billowing from flames that consumed dry brush near a road. About 110 firefighters have responded to the incident, according to the agency.

“Firefighters had difficulty accessing the fire due to [its] location deep into rugged terrain,” Cal Fire said.

The wind is spreading the smoke west toward Mead Valley, Corona and Temescal Valley, the agency said. Smoke is also visible in the Chino Valley.

Riverside County valleys and mountains saw wind speeds of up to 57 mph overnight, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters expect the gusty offshore winds to diminish later Sunday morning.

The blaze was 0% contained as of 10 a.m. The cause is under investigation.

Several retardant dropping air tankers are helping our firefighters on the ground and water dropping helicopters fight the #SandersonFIRE. The wind is spreading the smoke west towards Mead Valley, Corona and Temescal Valley. :CAL FIRE/RVC FIRE pic.twitter.com/Fup5ZyzIoT— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) December 13, 2020

#SandersonFIRE photos – view from Perris CA pic.twitter.com/nXUl8oHYxR— CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire Department (@CALFIRERRU) December 13, 2020

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