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Winchester wildfire destroys building, evacuations lifted

Smoke visible in the Coachella Valley

Riverside County firefighters stopped the progress of a brush fire that blackened more than 1,200 acres, destroyed an outbuilding and threatened multiple residences in Winchester Thursday.

The non-injury blaze was reported at 2:20 p.m. in the 34000 block of Rawson Road, near Patterson Street, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

A vacant storage building was consumed by the fire, which approached six homes along Hidden Falls and Vista roads, according to the fire department.

By about 10 p.m., the blaze had scorched 1,261 acres and was 40 percent contained.

The smoke from the fire has been reportedly seen and smelled in various areas of the Coachella Valley.

Fire department spokeswoman Tawny Cabral said 100 firefighters were battling the blaze, including 23 engine crews and four hand crews, seven air tankers and three helicopters.

Crews initially encountered fast-moving flames amid light to moderate winds.

Firefighters from the Riverside and Hemet fire departments, March Air Reserve Base Fire Department, Murrieta Fire Protection District and Orange County Fire Authority were sent to assist in battling the blaze.

There was no word on what triggered the blaze.


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