Brush fire erupts west of Lake Elsinore, near Ortega Highway, 60% contained

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A fire that broke out Monday in the hills west of Lake Elsinore blackened about 15 acres in less than an hour and expanded to 40 acres by 3:30 p.m. Valley News/Courtesy of CalFire Riverside

LAKE ELSINORE (CNS) – A brush fire that erupted in the hills west of Lake Elsinore blackened 27 acres on Monday was 60% contained Tuesday morning.
The non-injury blaze was reported about 1:50 p.m. Monday along South Main Divide Road, near the Ortega (74) Highway, within the Cleveland National Forest, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.
The agency said 24 engine crews and four hand crews, numbering close to 200 personnel, were sent to the location and encountered flames in rugged terrain, prompting calls for air support.
Five Cal Fire air tankers and two helicopters were dispatched from Hemet-Ryan and San Bernardino International airports, and over the ensuing two hours, they made repeated runs on the fire.
The blaze was burning at a moderate rate and did not reach populated areas. By 6:30 p.m., some crews were being released from the fire, which was reportedly 5% to 10% contained.
About 9:20 p.m., the department downgraded the number of acres burned from nearly 50 to 27, due to updated mapping.
Along with county personnel, firefighters from the U.S. Forest Service were on hand. Firefighters will remain on scene overnight working toward full containment.
There was no word on how the blaze started.

Fire crews work on a fire that broke out Monday in the hills west of Lake Elsinore blackened about 15 acres in less than an hour. Valley News/Courtesy of CalFire Riverside
A fire that broke out Monday in the hills west of Lake Elsinore blackened about 15 acres in less than an hour. Valley News/Courtesy of CalFire Riverside