Sandalwood Fire: Mobile Home Park Remains Closed As Fire Tops 1,000 Acres
Evacuations for the surrounding area have been lifted, but Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park remains closed due to unsafe conditions as the Sandalwood Fire burned into its fifth day in Riverside County on Monday.
So far, the fire has consumed more than 1,000 acres and was 94% contained. Fire officials said it was unclear when full containment would be reached and when evacuations would be lifted.
HOW IT STARTED
The fire broke out Thursday shortly before 2 p.m. at Calimesa Boulevard and Sandalwood Drive, after a trash truck dumped its burning load near brush, according to Cal Fire officials. That fire quickly spread to a nearby mobile home park.
Both Mesa View Middle School and Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park were evacuated, Riverside County Sheriff's Department said in a news release.
The first human remains were found inside of a burnt mobile home in Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park and were later identified as Lois Arvikson, an 89-year-old resident of Calimesa. A day later, authorities found a second person dead at the mobile home park, Riverside County sheriff's officials said.
Because there has been a death, arson investigators are "working to determine whether there will be any criminal culpability," said Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco, adding, "we won't know that for some time."
The investigators will try to determine if this was a case of illegal dumping, Bianco told the Riverside Press-Enterprise.
WHAT WE KNOW AS OF 9 AM MONDAY
- Acreage: 1,011 acres
- Containment: 94%
- Mandatory evacuations: See map above. Villa Calimesa Mobile Home Park remains closed due to unsafe conditions.
- Road closure: 7th Street between Villa Calimesa Road and Sandalwood Drive
- Evacuation centers (humans & animal):
- Evacuation center: Mesa Grande Academy, 975 Fremond St., Calimesa
- Structures destroyed: 74
- Structures damaged: 16
- Resources deployed: CAL FIRE/Riverside County Fire is in unified command with CAL FIRE San Bernardino-City of Yucaipa, City of Calimesa and Riverside County Sheriff's Department
- Air quality: Smoke advisory issued for people with "sensitive health conditions"
For the latest information straight from local emergency officials, check the following websites and social media accounts:
- Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department incident page (for latest information)
- Cal Fire Riverside Twitter
- Riverside County Sheriff's Department Twitter
- Redland Fire Department via Twitter
- Every Day Is Fire Season. Here's How Angelenos Can Prepare Right Now
- How To Find Out About Fire Evacuations In Your Area
- How To Keep Yourself Safe From Wildfire Smoke
- The Air Is Brown -- Should I Wear A Mask?
- This Is Why Fire Officials Don't Want You To Stay And Defend Your Home
- What To Do -- And Not Do -- When You Get Home After A Wildfire
- How To Avoid Getting Towed During LA's Red Flag Parking Restrictions
- If You Want To Help Fire Victims, Resist The Urge To Volunteer
YOUR QUESTIONS OR IDEAS
With contributions from Mike Roe.
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