Car crash after high speeed police chase sparks wildfire in California burning more than 300 acres
A police chase involving a stolen vehicle reportedly ended in a crash and sparked a massive fire in California's Jurupa Valley on Thursday, October 31.
The chase ended with a car crash that sparked a fire in a field in Riverside County that engulfed nearly 300 acres of land, damaging buildings and leading to evacuations.
This fire in Riverside County was one of the two to erupt on Thursday along with another one named Hillside Fire in San Bernardino County.
Riverside police spotted the vehicle past midnight and pursued the car, Riverside Police Department spokesman Ryan Railsback said.
When they tried to get the vehicle to stop, it fled and they chased it down to the field where it crashed and burst into flames. The car was engulfed in flames within minutes, police officers told Mail Online. Winds were blowing at 25mph on Thursday night and aided the flames, making them spread rapidly.
The fire that had started at around 12:30 am had already eaten away 150 acres by 6 am and 300 acres by 8.25 am, it was reported.
The people who were in the stolen vehicle were taken into custody, reported KTLA, and are suspected of felony evading, car theft, arson, and other charges. They have been identified as Bryan Anguiano, 23, of Jurupa Valley, and Kevin Hidalgo, 28, of Riverside, the outlet reported.
The Hillside fire started at 2 am near Highway 18 and Lower Waterman Canyon on Thursday. It spread to approximately 200 acres within 30 minutes. However, by Thursday afternoon, it was contained by 50 percent.
More than 1,300 people were asked to evacuate. The winds reportedly were strong and went up to 60mph, aiding the fast-moving fire.
The San Bernardino County Fire Department said six homes and two outbuildings were damaged in the fire.
The latest reports by CNN said that firefighters have been able to control the fire and weather prediction says that climate less favorable for spreading of wildfires as higher humidity and softer winds are expected across the state till Saturday.
There are currently more than 12 fires burning across California.