Cerritos Fire: Riverside County fire burns more than 200 acres, 25% contained

Strong winds Thursday carried a brush fire that sparked in Riverside County forcing some residents to evacuate.

The "Cerritos Fire" has burned more than 250 acres and is currently 25 percent contained, according to Cal Fire.

The blaze erupted around 2 a.m. near the 23900 block of California Avenue, according to the Riverside County Fire Department. No one was hurt in the fire, firefighters say.

A mandatory evacuation order was issued for residents that live on California Ave. North of Tres Cerritos Avenue in the West Hemet area, by Thursday afternoon it was downgraded to an evacuation warning. The evacuation warnings for Tres Cerritos Ave. and Los Rancherias Rd. in West Hemet has been lifted. 

A temporary evacuation point was established at Tahquitz High School, located at 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet.

Large and small animal evacuations can be taken to San Jacinto Valley Animal Shelter 581 S. Grand Avenue, San Jacinto.

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A total of 180 firefighters were assigned to the fire along with water-dropping aircraft. Crews were battling red flag conditions, including wind gusts of up to 35 mph, as some west Hemet residents were ordered to evacuate.

The first crews on scene reported about 10 acres of brush had burned and the fire was moving at a moderate rate of spread. By about 3:30 a.m., the fire had grown to 200 acres, the department said.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

CNS contributed to this report.