April 15, 2008

Dos Palmas Preserve fire 90 percent contained

The Desert Sun wire service

A fire that scorched 261 acres southeast of Mecca was 90 percent contained this morning, and the flames could be completely out by the end of the day, "if the weather cooperates," a fire official said.

Fire authorities said yesterday that the so-called Dos Palmas fire -- which broke out Sunday evening -- had charred more than 300 acres, but the figure was revised after a review of the fire area, said Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department.

A firefighter treated for minor heat-related injuries is the fire's only casualty, said Hagemann.

She said 212 firefighters were battling the flames on the ground today. No air crews were assigned to the blaze, Hagemann said.

A BLM employee indicated the fire affected most of the area in red. The preserve proper is shown in green and was mostly untouched by the wildfire.
Map and photo by RonsLog

The fire started just before 6:30 p.m. Sunday near Parkside Drive in the Dos Palmas Reserve, Capt. Fernando Herrera of the Riverside County Fire Department said earlier.

Salt brush, bamboo, tamarisk and mesquite trees were scorched by the flames.

"Full control (could come) sometime this evening if the weather cooperates," Hagemann said. Winds in the area are expected to "calm down today, which is good," she said.