Falls Wildfire Scorched Hundreds of Acres; Forcing Evacuations - New York News

Falls Wildfire Scorched Hundreds of Acres; Forcing Evacuations

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LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) -- A wildfire threatening 250 homes in Riverside County was 20 percent contained on Tuesday but it didn't grow much overnight, authorities said.

The blaze that erupted Monday near Lake Elsinore had blackened 1,416 acres, or more than 2 square miles, fire spokesman Marc Peebles told The Press-Enterprise.

It continued to threaten homes in the communities of Decker Canyon and Lakeland Village, west of the lake, although evacuation orders for the village were lifted on Monday.
 
"Residents need to keep their heads up" in case the fire flares up, state fire spokeswoman Julie Hutchinson told KNX-AM.

Governor Jerry Brown announced Tuesday that the state has secured a federal fire management grant to help local, state and tribal agencies with the cost of the fire.

The blaze burned a barn and damaged another outbuilding after erupting on Monday in Cleveland National Forest, about 70 miles southeast of Los Angeles. The cause was unknown. It sent hazy smoke and a drizzle of ash over nearby communities.

Hundreds of firefighters fought the blaze with the aid of aircraft, including a giant DC-10.

Televised news reports showed fire trucks on a road flanked on both sides by spot fires and walls of flame.

Firefighters reported only a few minor injuries. The fire has destroyed two outbuildings.

LAKE ELSINORE, Calif. (AP) -- A brush fire burning near Lake Elsinore in the Cleveland National Forest has scorched hundreds of acres and forced the evacuation of homes.

The U.S. Forest Service says about 150 firefighters were battling the nearly 800-acre blaze, which was reported just after 10 a.m. Monday. Some residents could see flames cresting a hill and creeping toward their homes.

Mandatory evacuations are in place for the Decker Canyon, Rancho Capistrano and Lakeland Village residential areas. It isn't clear how many homes were affected.
 
Highway 74 is closed down in both directions as flames inch closer to the road and an evacuation center has been set up at Lakeside High School in Lake Elsinore.
 
Forest officials said the fire is zero percent contained as of 4:45 p.m. No injuries have been reported.

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