As Palmer Fire Spreads Near Beaumont, Firefighters Battle for Containment

The fireworks-caused fire had grown to 3,300 acres by Sunday.

All evacuations and road closures ordered due to the Palmer Fire were lifted Sunday as firefighters made progress containing the large brush fire burning in the foothills west of Calimesa.

The 3,300-acre blaze ignited Saturday and burned overnight, triggering mandatory evacuations in Riverside County and neighboring Redlands, authorities said.

By 4 p.m., firefighters were focused on extinguishing scattered hotspots and were expecting to achieve full containment as early as Monday, fire officials said. Residents ordered to evacuate were allowed back home.

About 435 firefighters, assisted by four water-dropping helicopters and bulldozers, were working on the blaze near San Timoteo Canyon Road and Fishernan's Retreat.

The fire was first reported at 1:33 p.m. Saturday at 50 acres burning at a moderate rate, Jody Hagemann of the Riverside County Fire Department said. It had been sparked by fireworks.

Residents living on Live Oak Canyon Road between San Timoteo Canyon Road and Interstate 10 in Redlands were ordered to evacuate about two hours later, Hagemann said.

With 100 homes evacuated on the Riverside County side and nine in Redlands, a total of 450 residents were affected, she said.

The California Highway Patrol closed San Timoteo Canyon Road at Live Oak Canyon Road to all through traffic.

The CHP also closed Redlands Boulevard between San Timoteo Canyon Road and Locust Avenue.

Those roads are now open.

The Palmer Fire was fueled by above-average temperatures and westerly wind gusts blowing up to 35 mph on Saturday, according to the National Weather Service.

Winds Sunday were expected to blow east, prompting the South Coast Air Quality Management District to issue a smoke advisory for the San Jacinto Valley, the Perris Valley and the Riverside metro area.

The agency said those areas will likely experience unhealthy air quality due to smoke and ash wafting in from the Palmer Fire.

There was no word on whether any structures were damaged by the fire.

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