A car that went up in flames after crashing at the end of a pursuit started the 300-acre brush fire that destroyed three homes and two outbuildings in Jurupa Valley, police confirmed Thursday morning.
The so-called 46 Fire was reported about 12:40 a.m. in the 5300 block of 46th Street, at the west end of Flabob Airport, and was 15% contained as of mid-afternoon, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The fire prompted evacuations which were lifted by Thursday afternoon as firefighters began to get the upper hand on the flames.
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The chase began when Riverside police officers on patrol spotted a stolen vehicle on Van Buren Boulevard, according to Riverside Police Department Officer Ryan Railsback.
The pursuit ended when the car jumped a curb and drove into a field across from the Rancho Jurupa Sports Park, at 5249 Crestmore Road.
Friction from a tire rim sparked flames.
Dry brush went up in flames in the wind-driven fire. Two men ran from police and were arrested.
Bryan Alexis Anguiano, 23, and Kevin Alonso Hidalgo, 28, were apprehended about 1:15 a.m. in the area of Arlington Avenue and Van Buren Boulevard in Riverside.
Anguiano was booked into the Robert Presley Jail on suspicion of auto theft, burglary and felony evading. Hidalgo, a convicted felon, was booked into the same facility on suspicion of parole violations.
A nearby pet adoption center became a shelter for up to 60 dogs and 100 cats.
Two elementary schools, Indian Hills and Peralta, were closed.
As a result of the blaze, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he had secured a Fire Management Assistance Grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to ensure the availability of resources.
The 46 Fire started just hours after the 600-acre Hill Fire damaged homes in the same area. All evacuation orders were lifted for the Hill Fire.
City News Service contributed to this report.