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Possible Lightning Strike Sparks Brush Fire Near Murrieta

MURRIETA (CBSLA) - A brush fire that was possibly triggered by lightning strikes broke out Wednesday evening just west of Murrieta.

The non-injury blaze was reported just before 4 p.m. near Clinton Keith and Tenaja roads, in the unincorporated community of La Cresta, according to the Riverside County Fire Department.

No homes were immediately threatened by the fire, which quickly charred 25 acres in about a half an hour.

Cal Fire reported that the fire had burned about 994 acres and was 5% contained just before 9 p.m. An evacuation order was in place.

Reports indicated a thunderstorm cell moved through the area just prior to the fire, leading some to suspect the flames may have been ignited by a lightning strike.

Power lines were also reported down at the location. Riverside County health officials urged residents in portions of southwest Riverside County to limit outdoor activities because of smoke and ash generated by the fire.

There was a mandatory evacuation order for all residents in Copper Canyon South of Calle del Oso Oro between Clinton Keith and Murrieta Creek, along with residences along The Trails Circle in La Cresta. There was also an evacuation order for the Santa Rosa Plateau Visitor Center located at 39400 Clinton Keith Road.

A care and reception center has been set up at Murrieta Mesa High School, 24801 Monroe Avenue. Small animals are being accepted at the care and reception center, located at Murrieta Mesa High School. Large Animals can be taken to the San Jacinto Animal Shelter, 581 S. Grand Ave., in San Jacinto. Horse trailers can be taken to the Los Alamos Sports Park.

All Murrieta Valley Unified School District schools will be closed Thursday because of the fire.


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