An aerial view of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla in southern California shows the Martinez Fire on the evening of July 23, 2018. Photo: CAL FIRE

Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians evacuate families in response to fire

As of Tuesday afternoon, all evacuation orders, including the one affecting the reservation, have been lifted.

A fire on the reservation of the Torres Martinez Desert Cahuilla Indians has been largely contained but some families are still waiting for approval to return home.

About 30 people were evacuated on Monday after the Martinez Fire broke out on the reservation in southern California. Though only about 40 acres have been affected, one witness told The Palm Springs Desert Sun that the blaze was threatening.

"We just saw everything burning, and we were scared. It was really big," 13-year-old Jainnie told the paper.

The Fantasy Springs Resort Casino, owned by the nearby Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, offered shelter for tribal citizens who were evacuated, the paper reported. Others sought assistance from the American Red Cross, which set up shop at a local church.

According to the Riverside County Fire Department, a "limited" number of residents off the reservation were allowed to return home starting Monday night. But those on the reservation were still under an evacuation order.

The Martinez Fire was about 65 percent contained as of Tuesday morning.

Read More on the Story:
Thirty evacuated from reservation in Thermal as Martinez Fire burned through the night (The Palm Springs Desert Sun July 23, 2018)
Thermal brush fire now 65% contained (KESQ July 23, 2018)
Brush Fire Scorches 40 Acres in Thermal, Prompts Evacuations (KMIR July 24, 2018)

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