Two small brush fires that broke out near each other in San Bernardino County were quickly knocked down by firefighters who remained on alert with a red flag warning for the Inland area until Monday evening.
The fires both broke out Sunday evening and were a short distance from each other, almost “in a straight line,” San Bernardino County Fire Department spokesman Jimmy Schiller said Monday morning.
The first, in the 2300 block of W. Base Line Street in the Rialto area, was reported around 10 p.m. Sunday and burned just over an acre before county and Rialto firefighters got the upper hand; the second fire in the 1000 block of Terrace Road in San Bernardino broke out about 30 minutes later.
The Terrace Road fire briefly threatened some homes, Schiller said. “The winds were howling and there was one strike team ordered to defend homes,” he said, but the team was withdrawn when the fire’s progress was stopped. It burned about two acres, he said.
Schiller said both fires were taken care of within 90 minutes of being reported. The cause was under investigation. He said fire investigators were checking to see if the Terrace Road fire was caused by embers from the Base Line Street fire to its north, or started separately.
On Monday, at least three strike teams were on standby at a staging area in Devore, on watch with a red flag warning issued for San Bernardino and Riveside County mountains, valleys and passes through 6 p.m. Monday due to northeasterly Santa Ana winds.
The National Weather Service San Diego office forecast winds will reach gusts as fast as 65 mph in the Cajon Pass.
In addition to the strike teams in Devore, “every hand crew that can be staffed up is staffed. We are ready for whatever the wind throws at us,” Schiller said.
Another red flag warning for the area is effective from 11 p.m. Tuesday to 6 p.m. Thursday.