March 2, 2013 / 7:26 PM / in 5 years

Firefighters contain 80 percent of Southern California wildfire

(Reuters) - Fire officials on Saturday said they had contained 80 percent of a wildfire that scorched the hills east of Los Angeles as record-setting dry weather parched Southern California.

About 310 acres in Riverside County have been burned by the wildfire, said Daniel Berlant, spokesman for the State of California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The flames were still raging at midday but the wildfire was expected to be fully contained by evening, state and local fire officials said.

No injuries or deaths have been reported, they said.

Two hundred firefighters battled the blaze, which broke out on Thursday afternoon in Jurupa Valley near the city of Riverside, about 55 miles east of Los Angeles, the department said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, it said.

The fire was considered large for a blaze occurring in the typically cooler winter months, although temperatures have been above normal in recent days, Berlant said. Record-setting dry weather conditions have resulted in several recent wildfires in California.

“We are hoping for some rain, but we are definitely preparing for what could be a busy fire season,” Berlant said.

The fire was blamed for power outages in Riverside City on Thursday, but electricity was restored on Friday, authorities said. Voluntary evacuation orders were issued on Thursday but lifted as of Friday, they said.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Sandra Maler

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