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Evacuations ordered for Reche fire in Moreno Valley, Highland fire in Beaumont

Multiple wildfires broke out in western Riverside County on Friday afternoon, chewing through thousands of acres and prompting evacuations in parts of Moreno Valley and Beaumont.

The largest so far is the Rabbit fire, which was reported at 3:26 p.m. in the community of Lakeview. The fire had scorched 2,815 acres with no containment as of 7:20 p.m., according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection/Riverside County Fire Department.

Another blaze, dubbed the Reche fire, was first reported just before 1 p.m. in the 9400 block of Reche Canyon Road — in an unincorporated area north of Moreno Valley.

The fire had charred 437 acres with 5% containment as of 7 p.m. Video from the scene showed at least one structure engulfed in flames, but it was unclear whether any others had been damaged.

Roughly 280 firefighters were assigned to the blaze.

Evacuations were ordered for residents south of Reche Canyon Road, north of Reche Vista Drive, west of Trust Way and east of Alta Vista Drive. An evacuation warning is in place for Moreno Valley residents south of Alta Vista Drive, north of Ironwood Avenue, west of Moreno Drive and east of Perris Boulevard.

Authorities set up an evacuation center at Valley View High School, 13135 Nason St., for anyone displaced by the fire.

The Highland fire was first reported at 2:57 p.m., south of Beaumont. After mapping efforts, officials say it has burned 105 acres — less than half of what was originally estimated.

That fire, which was 20% contained as of early Friday evening, forced evacuations along Breckenridge Avenue between Highland Springs Avenue and Sunningdale Street. That order was downgraded to a warning later in the evening.

An evacuation warning was also in place for the area east of Highland Springs Avenue, south of Sun Lakes Boulevard and west of South Highland Home Road.

Authorities have established a “care and reception center” for those displaced by the Highland fire at Nicolet Middle School, 101 E. Nicolet St. in Banning.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued a smoke advisory for western Riverside County due to the three wildfires.

The wildfires broke out during a heat wave that has caused triple-digit temperatures across much of inland Southern California, creating periods of brief critical fire weather, according to the National Weather Service.

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