UPDATED: More evacuations issued for 700-acre Wildomar Fire, portions of Murrieta affected

The “Wildomar Fire” makes its way down the mountainside at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 26. Kim Harris photo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATE: Oct. 27, 9 am

The fire that broke out deep in the Cleveland National Forest a few miles southwest of Wildomar scorched about 700 acres and was 15 percent contained today.

The blaze was reported about 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness area, south of the Ortega (74) Highway and Main Divide Road, and was burning in an easterly direction as of late afternoon, according to the U.S. Forest Service. No injuries have been reported.

About 200 homes have been evacuated, authorities said. A mandatory evacuation order was issued early today for a portion of the La Cresta community in Murrieta west of Grand Avenue, north of Avenida La Cresta and south of Calle De Lobo, authorities said.

Evacuation warnings, which let residents know they could be ordered to leave  at any time, were issued for residents in the Lakeland Village Community area west of Grand Avenue, and north of McVicar Street and south of Akley Street in Lake Elsinore and Wildomar, and for the gated community of Bear Creek in Murrieta, Cal Fire reported.

A warning also was issued for a few other streets in La Cresta including Avenida Castilla, Via Caballos, Calle De Suenos, Sierra Maria Road, Vista Flora Road, Teich Lane, Valle Vista, Via Sevilla, Paseo De Flores and Paseo Chapparo.

UPDATE: Oct. 27, 3:49 a.m.

Evacuations have been issued for a section of the La Cresta area of Murrieta. Courtesy photo

More mandatory evacuations have been issued in the 350-acre Wildomar Fire. An evacuation warning has been issued for the gated community of Bear Creek, located in Murrieta.

Other streets in the community of La Cresta under an evacuation warning are  Avenida Castilla, Via Caballaos, Calle De Suenos, Sierra Maria Road, Vista Flora Road, Teich Lane, Valle Vista, Via Sevilla, Paseo De Flores and Paseo Chapparo.

The area involved is west of Grand Avenue, north of Avenida La Cresta, and south of Calle De Lobo in the La Cresta Community.

The evacuations are in addition to the evacuations issued last evening for Hixson Truck Trail (mandatory) the Lakeland Village community area west of Grand Avenue, north of McVicar Street and south of Akley Street in the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar.

A Care & Reception Center has been opened at Lake Elsinore High School gym, located at 21800 Canyon Dr in Wildomar, for those affected by the fire.

In other fire related news, the San Jacinto Animal Campus, located at 581 South Grand Avenue in San Jacinto, is taking all animals (large and small) for those affected by the fire.

Motorists should avoid Grand Avenue due to traffic and emergency vehicles.

No injuries have been reported in the blaze.

Cal Fire/Riverside, Cal Fire/San Diego, Idyllwild Fire Protection District, March ARB, Morongo Fire Department, Murrieta Fire Protection District, Riverside City FD, Riverside County Fire Department, USFS, USFS – Cleveland are all responding to the blaze at this time.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Oct. 26, 8:55 p.m.

According to representatives from Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department the Wildomar fire is holding at 350 acres with 15 percent containment.

The agency is in unified command with Cleveland National Forest and serving as the official source for information for the blaze.

A 350-acre brush fire sends off a large plume of smoke on Thursday, Oct. 26. Kim Harris photo.

“The fire remains at 350 acres and is 15 percent contained. This will be the last update of the night, unless any significant activity occurs,” Cal Fire Riveside County Fire Department spokeswoman April Newman said.

Meanwhile people are still gathering in a dirt parking lot near the intersection of Grand Avenue and McVicker, watching as flames descend down the hill towards the city of Wildomar. Many said they were not residents, but came to watch.

But for 48-year-old Esmeralda Pallanes, who resides inside the evacuation area, the fire is much more than a spectator sport. She first heard about the fire from some friends in Murrieta who could see the flames from their homes.

“I didn’t even know anything about the flames here, I think they are more visible from their house,” she said. “I was home but I couldn’t see it.”

Pallanes said she and her family are evacuating their home and going to their friends’ house, but for her, it’s not about her home or the things that can be replaced, it’s about the firefighters on the front line.

“I am just worried about the people that are actually fighting the fire out there.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Oct. 26, 8:18 p.m.

Courtesy photo

Cal Fire Riverside County Fire Department has issued evacuation  warning maps for the Lakeland Village community area west of Grand Avenue, north of McVicar Street and south of Akley Street in the cities of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar due to the Wildomar Fire.

Residents in the area should immediately evacuate their homes for their own safety, according to fire officials.

Kaylee Augustin, 24, of Wildomar, was standing outside with her friend Adam Ortega, 26, watching the flames and smoke move down the hillside. She had first about the fire around 1 p.m. today, she said, adding that it was when it first started.

Courtesy photo

“I was coming home from Temecula so I saw it up on the mountain,” she said.

Augustin said her home is one of those in the area for voluntary evacuation. She is monitoring the blaze to keep abreast of the situation.

“I am just going to set an alarm to wake myself up and look for ways to stay updated,” she said, adding that there was a fire five or six years ago that was much closer to her home than the Wildomar Fire.

Augustin said she believed due to the dirt roads and trails nearby the fire department should be able to get to blaze and extinguish it before it reached her home.

“I’m not that worried about it at the moment,” she said.

Ortega said he was with Augustin when they saw the beginning of the smoke plume.

“We started our way back and that is when we started seeing the fire,” he said. “At my house earlier you could see it starting to peek over the hill ridge but they seem to have gotten that contained though there is a pretty good glow there.”

Oretga’s parents were still at the house when he spoke with Valley News, but he said his family, who lives near Corydon wet down everything from their rooftop to their yard in preparation of the fire.

“We couldn’t see exactly where the fire was but we wet down everything as close as we could,” he said. “From their house it looked like the fire was right in the backyard. From my house it looked farther down the mountain, but everyone is getting prepared.”

Seven helicopters, nine air tankers, four bulldozers, five water tenders, 10 fire crews and 36 engine companies remain on the scene battling the blaze.

As of this update no new acreage totals have been announced.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Oct. 26, 7:19 p.m.

An evacuation warning has been issued for the Lakeland Village Community area west of Grand Avenue, north of McVicar Street and south of Akley Street in the cites of Lake Elsinore and Wildomar due to the Wildomar Fire.

Avoid Grand Avenue due to traffic and emergency vehicles.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Oct. 26, 7:03 p.m.

The city of Wildomar is advising residents on the west side of Grand Avenue in the city of voluntary evacuations.

The voluntary evacuations are from Akley in Lakeland Village to McVicar Street in Wildomar, according to a mass email sent out by city officials.

Currently 500 firefighters are battling the blaze, according to a Tweet sent out by the Cleveland National Forest.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

UPDATE: Oct. 26, 6:15 p.m.

A 350-acre brush fire burning in heavy fuels in the Cleveland National Forest near Wildomar Thursday was started when an 18-year-old Ladera Ranch man lost control of his off-road motorcycle and crashed into a tree, ultimately sparking the blaze, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said.

The 350-acre Wildomar fire burns in National Forest land northwest of Murrieta on Thursday, Oct. 26. Kim Harris photo.

The blaze, dubbed the Wildomar fire, has prompted evacuations for a Wildomar community along Hixon Truck Trail and firefighters have not been able to get any level of containment on it.

The fire began shortly after the motorcycle crash. As the man, who had been riding by himself, laid on the ground he noticed the motorcycle was revving at high RPM because the throttle was stuck and also saw that there was gasoline leaking from the motorcycle as well, said California Highway Patrol Officer Mike Lassig.

Lassig said the heat from the high RPM ignited the leaking gasoline, causing the tree and surrounding brush to catch fire.

“He realized he had to get help so he had to run approximately 2-3 miles to his truck, which was parked in a campground, where he was able to obtain his phone and get cellphone reception,” Lassig said.  The man was able to call emergency first responders to the quickly-growing fire.

The motorist suffered only some scrapes from the crash and did not need to be taken to the hospital, Lassig said.

Lassig said the Highway Patrol advocates for having a partner for off-roading. He said that if the motorcyclist had been knocked unconscious before the fire began, the situation could have played out much differently.

“It could have been a life-threatening situation,” Lassig said. “The Highway Patrol wants to remind motorcyclists off-road to have a partner with them, in case there is an emergency.”

ORIGINAL STORY:

Firefighters on Thursday, Oct. 26, were fighting an approximately 200-acre brush fire burning in heavy fuels in the hills northwest of Murrieta, a Cleveland National Forest official said.

The fire was burning about two miles into the wilderness near the Wildomar OHV area, a series of trails for off-road vehicles to explore, Cleveland National Forest spokeswoman Olivia Walker said.

The trails are off Los Alamos Truck trail, and are about 15 miles away from Lake Elsinore and 30 miles away from San Juan Capistrano, according to a U.S. Forest Service website.

The fire was initially reported at 2 acres, but quickly grew as it made its way through heavy brush.

A helicopter makes its way to the 350-acre Wildomar fire burning in Cleveland National Forest land. Kim Harris photo.

Vernon Diaz, a firefighter for the Trabuco Ranger District, said the fire was pushing in an easterly direction.

No evacuations are in order, Diaz said.

“We have air units, ground units and additional units going to the fire,” he said.

He said he had limited information and did not know how much the fire could potentially grow.

This is a breaking  news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

 

4 Responses to "UPDATED: More evacuations issued for 700-acre Wildomar Fire, portions of Murrieta affected"

  1. Frank   October 26, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Praying for the safety of our firefighters.

    Reply
  2. Ann Glass   October 27, 2017 at 5:18 am

    Thank you for the great coverage.

    Reply
    • Kim Harris   October 27, 2017 at 7:08 am

      You are most welcome Ann. Stay safe out there! KH

      Reply
  3. Rafael   October 27, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Poor Wildlife ! They’re running out of places to graze and live …….. That’s the reason they come down looking for food and water.

    Reply

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