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Brush fire near Thermal

(Brush fire forces evacuations)…The fire was reported in Coachella Valley Monday.

The fire was first reported at 10:00 am and it spread through the dense vegetation near Avenue 66 and Harrison Street in Thermal. Cal Fire officials say the fire stopped spreading by late afternoon, but high temperatures slowed fire fighters on the scene. About 20 nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution. They were sent to an evacuation center set up at Coachella Valley High School. The fire crews worked late into the night Monday to ensure the fire was out, and all hot spots were extinguished. Captain Lucas Spelman of Cal Fire says the blaze grew to over 75 acres before it was declared out. The cause of the fire is under investigation.