Lightning sparks fires in Riverside County

Severe thunderstorms that sparked at least a dozen brush fires in Southern California are helping firefighters gain the upper hand on those blazes. Lightning started at least a dozen fires in Riverside County on Thursday.

The 970-acre Skinner Fire, east of Murrieta and Temecula, was 10 percent contained as of 8 a.m.

The 490-acre Cactus Fire, east of Lake Skinner, was 30 percent contained. State Route 371 was closed due to this fire.

The 70-acre Saddle Fire south of Hemet at Red Mountain Road and Oak Glen Road was 80 percent contained, with full containment expected by 6 p.m. tonight. One shed was destroyed by the fire.

Fire spokeswoman Cheri says rain and humidity assisted firefighters building a line around the fire near Temecula.

Patterson says some residents voluntarily evacuated their homes in the Sage area and couldn't return after fire officials closed some roads.

The Antelope Valley is under a flash flood warning with forecasts of slow-moving thunderstorms over the high desert.

This story incorporates information from the Associated Press.

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