Brush Fire Lights Up At Least 15 Acres in Thermal, Prompts Evacuations

THERMAL (CNS) - A 15- to 20-acre brush fire erupted in Thermal today, threatening structures in the area and prompting the evacuation of around 50 homes. 

The fire broke out for unknown reasons just before 3 p.m. near Martinez Road and Avenue 66, leading authorities to evacuate homes in the area. Martinez Road and Polk Street were also closed between Avenue 66 and Avenue 68. 

More than 100 firefighters were battling the blaze amid 121-degree temperatures and strong winds, according to the National Weather Service, which issued an excessive heat warning for the Coachella Valley for this week, warning of high temperatures around 120 degrees through Thursday evening. 

Two air tankers and a water tender were also dispatched to the scene, according to Riverside County Fire Department spokeswoman Jody Hagemann, who said a SunLine bus would be on scene to cycle firefighters in and out of the heat.

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