Yucaipa Fire Evacuations Lifted, Blaze Scorches 350 Acres

A fire burning near Yucaipa, California forced evacuations on Friday. However, those evacuations have since been lifted. The blaze, called the Mills Fire, was first reported around 2:30 pm local time.

CAL Fire’s online incident report showed that the blaze burned at least 200 acres in just 90 minutes. At least 100 homes were evacuated in the area and footage taken overhead showed flames climbing hillsides and coming extremely close to homes.

The blaze initially erupted on a small mountain range near Redlands and the border of Mentone. Bill Peters, a spokesman for CAL Fire, added that the fire then spread in Yucaipa.

All evacuations were lifted by 7:30 pm local time on Friday, though neighborhoods north of Carter Street and west of Bryant Street were only open to residents. CAL Fire added that one home was confirmed to be partially damaged from the fast-moving fire. No injuries were reported.

Calm winds helped crews gain the upper hand in the blaze, which was 20 percent contained as of Saturday morning. The Yucaipa fire was one of three in the area, all of which started on Friday afternoon.

The residents who were evacuated were sent to St. Francis Catholic Church. One resident, Pat Henry, recalled how she only had time to take her dog and her purse before her caregiver took her to the church. She explained:

“I have never had to be evacuated before, and I have been there for 16 years. It was kind of exciting when the Sheriff pulled up and said we had to leave.”

While residents were taken to the church, large animals were evacuated to Yucaipa Regional Park. Peters added on Friday that the majority of the heavy fire, which some residents said was 40 feet high, was out, though many hotspots continued.

The cause of the fire in Yucaipo remains under investigation, though arson investigators with CAL Fire are on the scene.

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