The Latest: California wildfire prompts school closures

MURRIETA, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a wildfire burning in Southern California (all times local):

10:30 p.m.

Schools southeast of Los Angeles will be closed because of a wildfire that’s scorched nearly 1,000 acres of brush and is threatening homes.

No buildings have burned and no injuries are reported Wednesday night but Riverside County fire officials say flames are heading toward the town of Murrieta. Schools in the Murrieta Valley Unified School District will be closed Thursday as a precaution.

The blaze, possibly caused by lightning from an afternoon storm, is burning through brushy hillsides just west of town. A mandatory evacuation was declared for about 20 homes in the unincorporated community of La Cresta.

A mandatory evacuation also was ordered for an area of Copper Canyon in Murrieta. It’s unclear how many homes are affected there.

About 300 firefighters plan to battle the flames through the night.


9:40 p.m.

A wildfire southeast of Los Angeles has burned nearly 1,000 acres of brush but no home damage or injuries are reported.

Riverside County fire officials say it erupted Wednesday afternoon in a hilly area just west of Murrieta.

Authorities declared a mandatory evacuation for 14 homes in the community of La Cresta.

The city of Murrieta issued voluntary evacuation for two neighborhoods.

Fire spokesman Rob Roseen says about 300 firefighters along with aircraft fought the flames.

A Murrieta resident, 18-year-old Rachel Gildersleeve, tells the Los Angeles Times she found herself driving a back road surrounded by flame and blinding smoke.

There’s no word on what sparked the fire but a storm that brought lightning and gusty winds had come through the area.

Roseen says the winds were easing Wednesday night.

Categories: California News