Evacuation Orders Lifted For Residents Near Wildomar Fire

WILDOMAR (CNS) - Firefighters will enter their third day of battle against an 850-acre fire in the Cleveland National Forest a few miles southwest of Wildomar.

The blaze, which was 50 percent contained as of Friday night, was reported at 12:30 p.m. Thursday in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness area, south of the Ortega (74) Highway and Main Divide Road.

No injuries have been reported.

About 200 homes had been evacuated, authorities said. A mandatory evacuation order had been issued early Friday 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.

All evacuation orders were lifted as of 6 p.m. Friday.

Evacuation warnings, which let residents know they could be ordered to leave at any time, were no longer in place as of 2 p.m. Friday, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District warned residents about unhealthy air quality due to smoke and ash wafting in from the fire area in parts of Lake Elsinore and the Perris and Temecula valleys closest to the blaze.

``Everyone should avoid any vigorous outdoor or indoor exertion; people with respiratory or heart disease, the elderly, and children should remain indoors,'' SCAQMD said in a press release.

The fire was sparked by a motorcyclist who crashed into a tree, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing information from the California Highway Patrol.

The 18-year-old man was riding alone down a dirt road when he hit a bump and lost control of the Yamaha motorcycle, crashing into a tree, CHP Officer Mike Lassig told the newspaper.

The throttle of the motorcycle became stuck and the tank sprang a leak, lighting the tree and surrounding brush on fire, Lassig said.

The rider, who suffered minor scrapes, attempted to put out the flames, then ran two to three miles to grab his cellphone in his truck and called authorities, according to Lassig.

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