74 mobile homes destroyed in LA fire sparked by burning trash

The Sandalwood fire chewed through the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park after a dump truck driver offloaded a burning piece of trash


By Colleen Shalby
Los Angeles Times

LOS ANGELES — Several fires continued to burn in Riverside County overnight after destroying dozens of structures Thursday as well as a mobile home park.

The Sandalwood fire in Calimesa had grown to 823 acres and was 10% contained as of 7:30 a.m. PDT Friday. The fire chewed through the Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park after a dump truck driver offloaded a burning piece of trash at Calimesa Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive.

A helicopter drops water on burning mobile homes to try and keep the Sandalwood fire from spreading at Villa Calimesa mobile home park on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Calimesa, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
A helicopter drops water on burning mobile homes to try and keep the Sandalwood fire from spreading at Villa Calimesa mobile home park on Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Calimesa, Calif. (Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times/TNS)

Santa Ana winds pushed the flames into the mobile home park, which was barely 1,000 feet away, where they engulfed the neighborhood, destroying 74 homes and buildings and damaging 16 others. Multiple people were injured, but officials did not have specifics Friday morning.

The nearby Wolf fire, at Wolfskill Truck Road near Silver Creek Drive, grew to 75 acres and was 25% contained, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. The Reche fire, which started in the 9000 block of Reche Canyon Road in Moreno Valley, remained at a steady 350 acres with 40% containment.

Evacuations continue in areas near the Sandalwood and Wolf fires, although orders have been lifted for the Reche fire, authorities said.

In an effort to avert fire dangers, Southern California Edison had warned that more than 173,000 customers might lose power. Calimesa was on that list but still had power at the time the Sandalwood fire started.

The perfect storm of heat, wind and dry weather will likely continue to drive fires blazing in Southern California, including the Saddleridge fire in the San Fernando Valley, forecasters said.

Most of Los Angeles County, with the exception of the Antelope Valley, as well as Ventura County and the Riverside County valleys will remain under a fire warning through Friday evening, according to the National Weather Service.

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©2019 Los Angeles Times

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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