MORENO VALLEY (CNS) - A wind-driven blaze that broke out today just north of Moreno Valley blackened 200 acres in two hours, threatening homes and prompting evacuations.
The fire was reported at 12:55 p.m. on Reche Canyon Road, near Reche Vista Drive, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Fire officials said the blaze started with a trailer fire and jumped into surrounding vegetation, propelled by intense northeast winds.
The flame front pushed west into rugged terrain, leading to mandatory evacuations on Reche Vista north of Country Road, as well as on Covey Road at Perris Boulevard, and Reche Canyon east of Reche Vista and west of Locust Avenue.
A care and reception center for evacuees was set up at Canyon Springs High School, 23100 Cougar Canyon Road, Moreno Valley.
Sixteen engine crews and a truck company, along with two hand crews -- totaling nearly 100 personnel -- deployed to the wildfire, aided by two Cal Fire air tankers and a water-dropping helicopter, according to the fire department.
Sheriff's deputies and California Highway Patrol officers closed access to Reche Canyon, between Reche Vista and Locust Avenue, for public safety.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.