Liberty Fire in Murrieta Burns 300 Acres, 10 Percent Contained

MURRIETA (CNS) - A wildfire that broke out just northeast of Murrieta amid strong Santa Ana winds was 10 percent contained today after scorching 300 acres and destroying a hilltop home on one of several streets under a mandatory evacuation order.

 Dubbed the Liberty Fire, the blaze was reported at 1:15 p.m. Thursday in the area of Liberty and Los Alamos roads in an unincorporated community bordering French Valley, Murrieta and Winchester, the Riverside County Fire Department reported.

 More than 300 firefighters were working to encircle the wind-whipped wildfire, which by 8 p.m. Thursday was 10 percent contained.

 The blaze burned down a house and an outbuilding and threatened numerous properties on Ernest Way, Liberty, Los Alamos, Madelda Lane, Mary Place, Mesa Avenue, Skipper Road and Via Mira Mosa -- all of which were under an evacuation order.

 By 8 p.m., evacuation orders were lifted for all residents with the exception of residents bordering Los Alamos Road between Ruth Ellen Way and Briggs Road, Maclean and Golden Eagle avenues.

 Southern California Edison was working to restore power to approximately 50 customers, with an estimated restoration time of 6 a.m. Friday.

 Evacuation centers were open at Mesa High School, 24801 Monroe St. The county Department of Animal Services was accepting evacuated pets at its San Jacinto Valley Animal Campus, 581 S. Grand Ave.

 Winds were gusting over 30 mph in the area late Thursday afternoon. A Red Flag warning denoting a high risk of wildfire stemming from strong winds and low humidity was issued for the region through Sunday night.

 Confronting the blaze were firefighters from the Riverside County, Cathedral City, Corona, Hemet, Palm Springs, March Air Reserve Base, Murrieta, Pechanga and City of Riverside fire departments, as well as CalFire.

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