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Home / News / Fire / Wildfire erupts in Cleveland National Forest near Riverside-Orange county line

Wildfire erupts in Cleveland National Forest near Riverside-Orange county line

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A wildfire broke out in the Cleveland National Forest near the Riverside-Orange county line Wednesday, quickly chewing up an estimated 400 acres of terrain but not immediately threatening any homes.

The non-injury blaze was reported shortly before noon along Holy Jim Trail, roughly halfway between Lake Elsinore in Riverside County and Trabuco Canyon in Orange County, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

Eight engine crews and two hand crews were initially deployed to the location, encountering flames in thick vegetation, according to the USFS. Two Cal Fire air tankers and two water-dropping helicopters were called in to make runs on the brusher.

The fire was initially reported at 10 acres, but quickly grew to 60. By 1:45 p.m., crews on the scene put the size at 400 acres. As the flames roared uphill, additional resources were requested.

Federal firefighters were receiving assistance from Orange County Fire Authority personnel. However, no Riverside County crews were immediately summoned to the area.

The blaze sent a thick plume of smoke into the air, visible across most of Orange and Riverside counties.

There was no immediate word on what might have triggered the blaze. Cleveland National Forest officials had been planning to conduct a prescribed burn on Wednesday in a different location, but it was canceled when the Jim Fire erupted.

The fire was burning near the vicinity of the 2018 Holy Fire that scorched more than 23,000 acres and forced evacuations in multiple Riverside County communities.

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