RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

 The average price of a gallon of self-serve regular  gasoline in the Inland Empire fell Friday for the ninth consecutive day, dropping six-tenths of a cent to $3.94.

   The average price in Riverside and San Bernardino counties is 5.8 cents less than one week ago and 16.9 cents lower than one year ago but 11.8 cents  more than one month ago, according to figures from the AAA and Oil Price  Information Service.

   The dropping prices were immediately preceded by a 10-day streak of rising prices.

   ``Heading into October, California refineries are selling off the last of their summer blend fuel stock in preparation to switch to winter blend  production, which can be sold in gas stations after the end of next month,''  said Jeffrey Spring of the Automobile Club of Southern California.

   ``The winter blend of gasoline is less expensive to produce. Typically, this is a time of year that gas prices drop, barring any supply problems.''