Fire closed Highway 74 for afternoon

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Rouse Fire contained next day

Cal Fire air attack drops fire retardant on the Rouse Fire, which burned about 14 acres, Wednesday, Aug. 30.
Photo by Jenny Kirchner

The Rouse Fire, which started about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30, near the U.S. Forest Service’s Cranston Ranger Station, was contained the next evening. The fire’s size was estimated to be about 14 acres, according to Lee Beyer, the USFS incident contact.

The fire started on the north side of Highway 74 near its junction with Bee Canyon Road. Then, spot fires ignited brush on the south side of the highway, causing its closure. Easterly winds pushed the fire west toward Forest Road 5S15 or Rouse Ridge Road, Beyer wrote.

During the initial firefighting Wednesday afternoon, the highway was closed in both directions. By evening, it was fully re-opened.

Matt Ahearn, battalion chief on the San Jacinto Ranger District, was the incident commander. The cause of the fire is under investigation, according to the USFS.

Shortly after the fire was reported, air attack was involved in containing and stopping the blaze. Both helicopters carrying water and aircraft capable of dropping fire retardant were used to combat the fire. At the peak, nearly 200 firefighters were involved.

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