A brush fire possibly sparked by a vehicle erupted Friday just east of Moreno Valley, scorching about 500 acres in an hour and threatening a home.
The non-injury blaze was reported at 1 p.m. in the area of Gilman Springs Road and Jerry Street, less than a mile south of the Moreno Valley (60) Freeway, in an area known as the Badlands, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
Several dozen engine crews, as well as inmate hand crews, were sent to the location and encountered flames moving north toward Laurene Lane, according to reports from the scene.
The fire split into two heads, and additional resources were summoned from cities throughout the region to work on containment. At least two Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were called in to make runs on the blaze, which was threatening a property near Laurene.
Sheriff's deputies shut down Gilman Springs in the area of the fire for public safety. According to the California Highway Patrol, a tractor-trailer going north on Gilman Springs may have sparked the fire when a component on its trailer fell onto the roadway and was dragged behind the truck, throwing sparks.
The Badlands is marked by rugged, hilly terrain, and it is sparsely populated.