At Least One Home Burned in Murrieta-Area Fire

The fire, called the Volcano incident, was reported at about 11:30 a.m. near Tenaja and Volcano roads

By Jonathan Lloyd and Melissa Pamer
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 6:37 AM PDT
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Rick Snyder says he ll have new parties and get new boats in the wake of a raging brush fire that consumed his home in the Murrieta area Wednesday. Investigators say the blaze was ignited by a county landscaping crew clearing roadside brush in an attempt to prevent brush fires. Beverly White reports from Murrieta for the NBC4 News at Midnight on August 2, 2012.

Rick Snyder says he ll have new parties and get new boats in the wake of a raging brush fire that consumed his home in the Murrieta area Wednesday. Investigators say the blaze was ignited by a county landscaping crew clearing roadside brush in an attempt to prevent brush fires. Beverly White reports from Murrieta for the NBC4 News at Midnight on August 2, 2012.

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Murrieta-Area "Volcano Fire" Consumes Home

The so-called Volcano Fire started at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday in the La Cresta area just outside of Murrieta. Flames burned through about 400 acres by the afternoon and consumed at least one home. Jacob Rascon reports from near Murrieta for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on August 1, 2012.

Raw Video: Firefighters Protect Homes

Firefighters respond as flames near a home in Murrieta. Raw Video
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A county landscaping crew clearing roadside brush in an effort to reduce the fire hazard ignited the blaze that consumed one large home and about 400 acres in the Murrieta area Wednesday, said Chief John Hawkins with Riverside Calfire.

As of 11 p.m. Wednesday, the fire was 50 percent contained. Full containment was not expected by the Riverside County Fire Department until 8 a.m. Thursday, with full control not expected till 6:00 p.m. Thursday.

Firefighters tried to retrieve some items from the house before it was hollowed out by fierce flames, aerial video showed.

The burned home, which was billowing smoke at about 4 p.m., appeared to be on Corte Providencia in Murrieta (map).

Homeowner Rick Snyder says he was keeping everything in perspective after the raging brush fire singled him out.

"We’ll have new parties and new boats. You know, we almost brought our boat home, put it in the driveway, my son was gonna do some work on it, said, 'Thank God we didn’t do that, it would’ve burned,'" said Rick Snyder. "So, no, we’re fine."

The blaze began at about 11:30 a.m. and grew to about 400 acres by about 3:30 p.m.

By 5:15 p.m., the cause of the fire was determined by CAL FIRE Investigators to be motorized equipment used to clear brush, according the incident website from the Riverside County Fire Department.

Three firefighters received minor injuries. One was transported by paramedics and the other was treated at the scene, the website stated.

Thirty-nine engine crews were battling the flames, with a total of 327 firefighters on site by 5:15 p.m.

Seven water-dropping helicopters and six air tankers were called into action to help contain the blaze. 

The area burning is southwest of Murrieta in unincorporated Riverside County, near Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve, a 9,000-acre county park in the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains.

No evacuations were ordered, though a "soft" evacuation was in place for those in the area who felt unsafe, officials said.

The American Red Cross had opened a temporary evacuation center for those who voluntarily evacuated at Murrieta Valley High School, located at 42200 Nighthawk Way in Murrieta (map). It was closed by 6:10 p.m.

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