UPDATED: Fire Breaks Out in Mountains South of Palm Desert

The fire burned most of the day Tuesday in a canyon near Hathaway Mountain, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Editor's note: Find Wednesday updates on fire here —> http://patch.com/A-4mHP

Update 8:30 p.m.:

The latest update provided by the U.S. Forest Service indicates that the Rosa fire has grown slightly— but not by much.

According to the official Twitter feed, the fire was holding at an estimated 3-4 acres in size.

"Firefighters are building fire-line-supported by 2 helicopters," the organization tweeted. "..Very little smoke showing."

Update 2:40 p.m.: 

A fire burning in the mountains south of Palm Desert is not a threat to any nearby homes nor do fire officials think it will grow, Patch has learned.

U.S. Forest Service Spokesman Lee Beyer told Palm Desert Patch in a telephone interview that the fire remains only about a half acre in size, and that though crews don't have full containment on the fire— they don't believe it will spread.

"It's not going anywhere," Beyer said, adding that the flames were only in a wash area near Haystack Mountain, burning in a "real long, narrow strip of vegetation."

"It is just burning out through the light brush on the sand wash," he said.

A helicopter will continue to drop buckets of water on the fire at this time, due to its remote location, he said.

Update 1:15 p.m.: 

The estimated size of the Rosa fire has been decreased to just a quarter to half acre in size, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Forest Service Spokesman John Miller tweeted that the fire is burning in a wash/drainage area and that "growth potential is low."

Update 12:05 p.m.: 

The U.S. Forest Service tells Palm Desert Patch that they are on scene of the so-called Rosa fire, which is burning in the Haystack Mountain area, southwest of Palm Desert.

According to Forest Service Spokesman John Miller, the fire was reported around 10:20 a.m. by one of their employees, who spotted smoke about one or two miles west of Highway 74 on BLM land in the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument.

Since then, they've sent out 5 engines, 1 helicopter and 1 water tender to the scene.

As of noon, the fire— estimated at two acres in size— did not appear to be growing, according to Miller.

However, crews were having a difficult time reaching the remote area in the San Jacinto mountain range where the Rosa Fire is burning.

"Access looks like it's a little tough," Miller told Patch in a telephone interview.  "It might be [burning] in some sparse vegetation, but once we get a helicopter on scene... we'll have a better idea."

"According to my eyes on the ground, [the fire] doesn't appear to be growing and it appears to be dissipating," he added.

Though much of SoCal has been blanketed with showers Tuesday, Miller said it was sunny out at the fire, and about 60 degrees, with a slight breeze.

Original story as follows:

Riverside County firefighters have been sent to a fire near Cahuilla Way and Cat Canyon Road in the Palm Desert area, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

A county fire department spokeswoman says county firefighters are waiting for the Bureau of Land Management to respond because the fire is in their jurisdiction.

At the time of this posting, there was not estimate available as to the size of the fire, or a possible cause.

Check back with Palm Desert Patch for more information as it becomes available.

Spot smoke?  Upload pictures to this story to share with the public, or email them to renee.schiavone@patch.com.


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