Crews continue to make steady strides against the 1,427-acre chaparral fire that broke out on the edge of the Cleveland National Forest in southwest Riverside County and was 50% contained early Tuesday.
“Fire fighting continues throughout the week while firefighters work to cool hotspots and build a containment line,” Cal Fire tweeted San Diego late Monday.
The compulsory evacuations for residents north of Tenaja Truck Trail, south of Calle Cielo, east of Calle Collado and west of Calle Be Bietol have been lifted and reduced to evacuation warnings previously only for the area north of Tenaja Road, west of Calle Pino. were and Gallop Lane, south of Hombre Lane and west of Cleveland National Forest Road.
Residents can return to their properties, officials said, but only local residents are allowed to be in the area.
On Tuesday authorities said they were investigating the possibility of repopulating the Cold Springs area, but firefighters were still working on narrow one-way streets and were still telling people to avoid the area.
The US Forest Service said firefighters are strategically clearing the bushes to prevent the flames from spreading through denser vegetation.
Two buildings were burned down on the first day of the fire, which was reported at 12:45 p.m. on Saturday in the Cold Springs area near Tenaja and Cleveland Forest Streets. A firefighter was slightly injured, according to the Riverside fire department.
The flames stretch across Riverside and San Diego Counties. On the Riverside County side, it burned at the southwest end of La Cresta, an unincorporated community at the foot of the Santa Ana Mountains.
At the height of the fire, four air tankers and several waterdrop helicopters sped over the flames. Along with USFS crews, personnel from the County, Cal Fire-San Diego, Murrieta Fire & Rescue, Hemet Fire Department, and Corona Fire Department have been tasked with containment measures.
More than 532 firefighters were on site.