Riverside County fire officials told residents to evacuate as a brush fire burned in the Nuevo area Thursday morning.

The Cerritos Fire was reported around 2 a.m. in the 23900 block of California Avenue, where arriving firefighters noted flames burning at a moderate rate of spread. 

By 8 a.m., the blaze was holding at 200 acres with 10% containment, according to Cal Fire/ Riverside County Fire Department. 

Residents who live on California Avenue, north of Tres Cerritos Avenue, in the west Hemet area were ordered to evacuate.

Evacuation warnings were issued for the residents who live on Tres Cerritos Avenue and Los Rancherias Road in the west Hemet area.

A temporary evacuation point was set up at Tahquitz High School on 4425 Titan Trail in Hemet. Large and small animal can be taken to San Jacinto Valley Animal Shelter at 581 S. Grand Ave., San Jacinto.

Fire officials said air resources were working to strengthen containment of the blaze Thursday morning.

The blaze erupted as Southern California was under a red flag warning and firefighters were working to extinguish the flames as 35 mph winds blew through the area.

Elsewhere in Riverside County, firefighters were battling a 105-acre brush fire in the Corona area that forced the closure of Highway 71 in both directions, from Highway 91 to Highway 83.

In neighboring Orange County, a brush fire Silverado Canyon burned thousands of acres and forced mandatory evacuations.

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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