Wildomar Fire scorches hundreds of acres near Lake Elsinore

Posted at 1:16 PM, Oct 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-28 12:20:52-04

UPDATE (Saturday, 8:30 a.m.): The Wildomar Fire has burned about 850 acres and is 60 percent contained.

"Night operations were able to add containment around the northern perimeter. Efforts will continue [Saturday] to strengthen containment lines around the southern and eastern perimeter. Fire activity is expected to be minimal. Drift smoke is expected within the fire perimeter. Light winds at 5 to 8 mph and higher humidity levels will assist firefighting efforts," Cleveland National Forest stated in a release.

As of Saturday morning, no structures were reported threatened.

UPDATE (Friday, 6 p.m.): All evacuation orders for and road closures for La Cresta and Wildomar communities have been lifted as of 6 p.m. Friday, according to Cal Fire Riverside.

Residents are asked to continue being vigilant of flare-ups in the area. Personnel said smoke from the interior of the burn may be visible until materials are fully consumed.

Containment was at 50 percent as of 6 p.m. Friday, and about 850 acres had been burned. No structures have been destroyed, but a release indicated 450 were threatened.

"Remember, use caution and good judgement, hazards may still exist," a Cal Fire release cautioned.

Original story follows.

WILDOMAR, Calif. (KGTV) - A Southern California brush fire sparked by a reported motorcycle crash Thursday grew in size overnight Friday.

Fire crews worked to further contain the Wildomar Fire, which grew to 700 acres by Friday afternoon. The fire began Thursday just after 12:30 p.m. in the Wildomar area of Cleveland National Forest, just south of Lake Elsinore.

Cleveland National Forest firefighters had the blaze 15 percent contained Friday. Five structures were reportedly threatened, though none have been destroyed. No injuries have been reported.

"During night operations, firefighters continue to construct containment line and extinguish hot spots with crews and water-dropping helicopters. Heavy dry fuels and overgrown vegetation has aided fire growth in an area untouched by fire since 1993," according to Cleveland National Forest Public Affairs Officer Olivia Walker.

More than 500 total fire personnel have responded to the blaze.

Mandatory evacuations were issued early Friday for about 200 homes in the La Cresta area (west of Grand Avenue, north of Avenida La Cresta, south of Calle de Lobo) and in Wildomar(from Hixon Road at Alameda De Monte and Avenida La Cresta.)

The Los Angeles Times reported Thursday the fire began after an 18-year-old crashed a motorcycle into a tree.

Lake Elsinore High School at 21800 Canyon Drive has been established as an evacuation center and the San Jacinto Animal Shelter at 581 Grand Ave. announced they are accepting large and small animals.

Crews issued road closures Friday for Cleveland National Forest Rd. at Tenaja Junction, Los Alamos near La Cuesta, and in Wildomar south of Ackley, north of Claremont St. and west of Grand Ave.

RELATED: San Diego County residents report smelling smoke from Mexico, Wildomar fires

San Diego residents Thursday reported smelling smoke from the fire and see a large plume of smoke rising to the north. 

The San Diego County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) issued a smoke advisory Thursday for the county saying air quality could reach "unhealthful levels in some smoke-impacted areas" in a statement. APCD recommends anyone who smells smoke to limit physical activity and, if possible, stay indoors.

A fire burning south of the border near Tijuana also worried locals. Cal Fire officials calmed residents, though, that no major fires were burning in San Diego County Thursday.